Looking for a spooky adventure? It’s Halloween. Everyone’s entitled to one good scare, and we found the perfect place.
Under a canopy of pines in a haunted forest on St. Andrews Circle lies the house every trick-or-treater will want to visit this Halloween.
Rob Childers has spent three weeks decorating his yard with every creepy thing one can imagine, from themed tombstones and cobwebs to ginormous spiders, skeletons and ghosts.
“Halloween’s my favorite time of the year. I love Halloween,” he said. “I try not to make it too scary, where it’s fun.”
Decorating for Halloween is no new task for Childers. This year, however, will be the first Halloween the Arkansas native has spent in Oxford, and his creative, spooky decorations have already drawn a lot of attention.
“One parent stopped by, and she said, ‘I’m very upset with you,’ and I said, ‘Oh, no. What did I do?’ And she says, ‘My son makes me stop here every day to look at your Halloween decorations.'”
Childers has several decorations he has used before, but every year he adds new creations and scenes to bring each Halloween to life. This year, he designed a Pennywise set from the movie “It” and a 12-foot man, which Childers himself built out of burlap sacks and PVC pipe.
“A lot of my robots I made myself,” he said. Pointing at a spinning skeleton, he added, “Like this guy here, he’s a homemade robot. He’s made out of a rotisserie motor for a grill and a bucket.”
When Childers has an idea, such as a 12-foot man, he spends hours designing, creating or building until his project is complete.
“It’s something I enjoy doing,” he said. “Everyone asks me, ‘Do you get your stuff from Pinterest?’ I’ve never looked at Pinterest in my life.”
“It comes from right here,” he said, pointing toward his head.
Childers admits “it’s a little creepy,” but his favorite decorations of all are skeletons. In fact, he decorates the inside of his house with them as well.
“I don’t like scary, gory stuff,” he said. “I like happy skeletons. They’re unique. For every skeleton, a person was behind that. It’s the only part that stays here; your spirit leaves and that’s the only thing left. There’s still some character there.”
For Childers, Halloween has been “better than Christmas” since he was a young child. Going door to door for candy and dressing up in costumes – such as his personal favorite, a werewolf – Childers dreamed of the excitement of Halloween throughout the year.
“Kids get excited about Halloween,” he said. “It’s super cool to see kids all excited and having fun. They get to dress up, they get to be their favorite character. I really like to see that, and … keep it quiet, but I give out the good stuff.”
By Randall Haley, associate editor of hottytoddy.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.