Oct. 26--ALBANY -- Matthew Parker has been setting up his Scerry Acres Cemetery for four or five years now at his and his wife's residence at 1704 Lowell Lane. Before that, their graveyard nod to Halloween was established in the Lake Park area where they used to live.
"It's kind of grown over the years," Parker said.
According to the National Retail Federation, home and yard Halloween decorating was expected to hit $2.4 billion this year, trailing costumes purchases at $3.1 billion and barely nudged out by candy purchases of $2.5 billion. Just under half -- 49 percent -- of the respondents to the annual consumer survey conducted for the NRF said they planned to decorate for Halloween.
Parker is a veteran of haunting Halloween shows. He said the tradition started a few years ago when he happened to spot some unusual merchandise in a big box store.
"My wife and I were walking through Walmart one time, and I saw a fog machine," he said. "I bought the fog machine, and it just sort of grew from there."
The setup includes a pair of cemeteries -- a "regular" one and one for pets -- which are connected with a winding path. A restless spirit soars overhead.
"It's a ghost that flies around on a pulley system," Parker said.
Most of his decorations are out to be seen by the brave, but what would Halloween be without a few surprises on the spookiest night of the year?
"I would say 90 percent of the stuff is out now," he said. "The extra 10 percent we'll put up for Halloween night. But it's lit up every night.
"On the night of (Halloween), we'll have a couple of projectors going," one creating scary scenes and the other featuring talking Jack O'Lanterns.
Parker said he wishes that more of his neighbors would get into the spirit of Halloween, but he's willing to continue his solo display.
"I do get a lot of people coming by just for my house," he said, adding that two of his friends, Todd and Brett Urick, have been instrumental in helping him and his wife with the increasingly elaborate displays.
And some of those who come by and wonder what they look like in the middle of a good scream might get a chance to see themselves. While he didn't set up for it last year, Parker said he usually has security cameras to capture images of frightened and startled guests, with the best ending up in video montages he posts online.
Asked if he had anything else special in store for those who visit on Halloween night, Parker said, "Basically, we just scare them a little bit and then give them some candy."
And when it comes to Halloween, that's pretty much got the bases covered.
Success! An email has been sent with a link to confirm list signup.
Error! There was an error processing your request.
Breaking News Alerts
Get Breaking News alerts from the Albany Herald delivered to your email.
Get the Local News headlines from the Albany Herald delivered daily to your email.
Get the Sports headlines from the Albany Herald delivered daily to your email.
Manage your lists
(c)2016 The Albany Herald, Ga.
Visit The Albany Herald, Ga. at www.albanyherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News