Decorating for Halloween


Halloween is Irene Roth's favorite holiday.

She celebrates by turning her Mount Airy front yard into a cocktail party from hell.

The guest list includes 18 unsavory characters from your worst nightmare or favorite horror movie, gathered around a poor woman with a stake in her heart.

Among others, Frankenstein, his bride, a Freddy Krueger type, a mummy and a witch decorate the yard.

"Most of the things I think of in this sick mind of mine," said Mrs. Roth, who moved to 1006 N. Main St. from New York in May.

She and her husband, Mark, displayed their Halloween handiwork for the past 10 years from the porch of their Long Island home.

"Everybody decorates for Christmas; not everybody does this," said Mrs. Roth, 50. "I like to see the kids go by and get a big kick out of it."

To show off their collection of frightful friends, the Roths have a big Halloween party each year.

"I'm just a big kid, I guess," Mrs. Roth said.

Every Halloween she's added more figures to her creepy collection. Mrs. Roth assembles the figures mainly from household materials and flea-market finds.

An old sweat suit filled with newspapers and covered in gauze made a perfect mummy, and Mrs. Frankenstein wears a garage-sale wedding dress.

Although the figures are homemade, Mrs. Roth said the costs can add up. She estimates that she spent about $35 per ghoul.

Mrs. Roth put the Halloween display up two weeks ago, with help from her sister and a friend. Mr. Roth's job is to install the lighting.

The couple's previous displays sat on their front porch, but the latest display is in the front yard because their Mount Airy home has no porch.

A next-door neighbor contributed his tarp covering to protect the ghoulish group.

So far everyone's still standing.

Mrs. Roth said she wasn't sure how Mount Airy folks would react to the display, but all the comments have been positive.

"They seem to like it," she said. "It's a good way of meeting people."

One year Mrs. Roth didn't display her Halloween handiwork because of vandalism, but she felt like a witch.

"All the kids came by and wondered where it was," she said. "I felt so lousy."

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