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Tricked out: Halloween decorations

October 27, 2012
By Sharon Bopp ( , The Marietta Times

Patricia Burfield's father loved Halloween and decorating for the holiday.

Although her father Harold Adams passed away earlier this year, his spirit lives on this Halloween season in the "Slaughter House Hill Cemetery" that Patricia, 49, of Marietta and her son Matthew, 27, created at their home at 121 Groves Ave.

Adams' clothes, shovel and gloves-even his false teeth!-are part of the "fresh gravesite" the mother and son "dug" in the cemetery.

Article Photos

From left to right, Adel Belin, 3, of Marietta and her sisters Peggy, 7, Debbie, 1, and Irene, 5, check out a pair of sleepover scarecrows in Rick and Judy Peoples’ Second Street front yard Thursday.

"I am sure he is laughing," Patricia said.

"He 'donated' quite a bit of it," Matthew said in jest.

The name of the cemetery was Matthew's idea, to pay tribute to the nickname of the hill they live on. A slaughterhouse, now called Hickory Hill Meats and Processing, has been in that location for at least 40 years, Patricia said.

Fact Box

Dart, 6 to 8 p.m.. Saturday.

Devola, 6:39 to 8 p.m., Saturday.

Lowell, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Saturday.

New Matamoras, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Williamstown, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Saturday.

Marietta, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Saturday.

St. Marys, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Saturday.

Lower Salem, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Newport, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Barlow/Vincent, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Oak Grove, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Saturday.

Reno, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Saturday.

Belpre/Porterfield, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday.

Beverly/Waterford, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesday.

Ludlow Township, 5 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday.

Beverly, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesday.

Little Hocking, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday.

Palmer, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday.

Cutler/Bartlett, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday.

Trick or Treat Around the Track at Oak Grove Recreation Center, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Saturday, 535 BF Goodrich Road; 374-9503 to reserve a table.

Trick or Treat at the The River City Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, 922 Front St. Marietta; Halloween treats for the children or home made grown treats from vendors.

This is the second year the Burfields have decorated for Halloween with the cemetery theme.

Matthew, the brainchild behind the idea, is a huge fan of Halloween.

"I love it more than Christmas. I love the atmosphere, the mood, all the dark stuff," he said.

Patricia and Matthew are also big on cemeteries.

"I've loved them since my three children were little," said Patricia. "My mom did, too."

The Burfields bought many items for this year's Halloween decorations on sale after Halloween last year.

The duo went to Halloween City in Marietta when items were 50 percent off. For $120, they bought a witch, cauldron, masks, spider webs and skeleton.

"It was a lot of fun," Matthew remembered.

Arachnophobics, beware

Those driving by 423 Fourth St. in Marietta are treated to a modern day version of a 1960s 'B' horror movie with a spider-takes-over-town theme.

"I love Halloween and spooky houses," said Carol Wharff, 49.

To spook up her own digs, Wharff placed giant spiders on the front of her house-with the two biggest trying to crawl their way into the upstairs windows.

"We've always done spiders on our porch," she said.

When her 7-and-10-year-old children said the decorations weren't "scary enough," she decided to take advantage of the home's second story to add more spiders this year.

During the day, Wharff said she has heard the "oohs and aahs about the scary spiders" made by groups of preschool children walking by.

After dark, when the upper story is flooded with orange lights, the scene at the Wharff house gets spookier still.

"It illuminates the spiders even more and makes it creepier," said Wharff.

Everchanging decorations

Father and son scarecrows are the charming characters depicted in Rick Peoples' yard at 733 Second St., Marietta. Each day of the week through the Halloween season the scarecrows can be seen fishing, riding a zip line, grilling, mowing the lawn, sleeping out and more.

The first scarecrow began popping up in Peoples' yard about three years ago, just after he retired.

"I started out putting a scarecrow in the front yard. I asked him to move so I could mow," Peoples said jokingly. "He volunteered to move into another location. Next year, his little boy wanted to come join him."

Peoples said he likes the idea of cute, enjoyable Halloween characters and begins the scenes Oct. 1.

"I didn't want to do anything graphic, with arms cut off and blood running," he said. "I have too many children watching these scarecrows."

And children are watching. The four Belin children of Marietta pass Peoples' yard as their mother Valerie Belin, 28, walks the oldest child to and from school each day.

Belin said she loved the grilling scene that Peoples created.

"He had ketchup and mustard sitting on the grill," she said.

Belin's daughter Peggy, 7, said she enjoys seeing what the scarecrows will do next.

"I can imagine what they look like as people," she added.

Others are also crowing about Peoples' handiwork.

"Some people take photos on a daily basis. I understand that they're on Facebook," said Peoples.

A delivery truck driver left a note on a box he delivered to the Peoples' house that read "I like your Halloween decorations," he added.

Peoples enjoys the compliments but for him it's more about the feelings he brings to those who see his Halloween creations.

"If it brings a smile to somebody's face, it's well worth it," he said.



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