Skele­ton-in­fested home wel­comes trick-or-treaters

The Weekly Vista - - Front Page - KEITH BRYANT

One Bella Vista home is cov­ered with creepy skele­tons, crawl­ing spi­ders and other spooky things.

The house, at the cor­ner of San­dridge Drive and Theodore Drive, was dec­o­rated by its res­i­dent, Teah Bid­well, who moved to Bella Vista last year in search of her dream home — this par­tic­u­lar yel­low Vic­to­rian home with a red door, which is cur­rently cov­ered in bones.

Hal­loween is her birth­day, she said, as well as her fa­vorite hol­i­day, which makes it easy to jus­tify putting in this kind of ef­fort.

“Thank God my hus­band likes it too,” she said.

This is the fourth year they’ve put to­gether a large dis­play, she said. Her fam­ily part­nered with neigh­bors and the city when they lived in Cen­ter­ton to es­tab­lish the “Trail of Fears,” a se­ries of homes dec­o­rated for Hal­loween and set up to re­ceive canned food for those in need.

“I would love to do that here in Bella Vista,” Bid­well said. “It raised so much food.”

Last year, she said, her new home wasn’t dec­o­rated be­cause she was still work­ing with Cen­ter­ton. Last year’s theme, she said, was clowns. This time around she went for skele­tons — some­thing she didn’t have props lined up for yet — in part be­cause they fit the Vic­to­rian home.

“Of course we had to pick a brand new theme this year,” she said.

There are cur­rently 21 bony in­di­vid­u­als hang­ing out on and around her house, she said, plus five child skele­tons, a trio of skele­tal rats, four dogs and four spi­ders.

Her 15-year-old, she said, is big on bi­ol­ogy and doesn’t hes­i­tate to re­mind her that the skele­ton spi­ders are wholly in­ac­cu­rate.

In ad­di­tion to the char­ac­ters, there are coffins, caul­drons, spi­der­webs and a grave­yard.

The setup, she said, will come alive at night with or­ange lights and fog ma­chines adding to the spooky at­mos­phere.

But with all those bones, she said, the setup still isn’t com­plete.

“I need to get a few more skele­tons this week­end,” Bid­well said. “We put them up all over the house and I feel like we need about five more to fin­ish it.”

They’ve been tough to source, she said, be­cause many stores have been sold out.

More­over, she said, the skele­tons were enough of a pain to put up that they’re stay­ing up un­til Christ­mas — when they’ll get Santa hats.

Bid­well and her hus­band, John Bow­man, have gone to a con­ven­tion to learn more about mak­ing and sourc­ing Hal­loween props, she said. They’re not about to stop dec­o­rat­ing. But this year, she said, she still wants her work to be seen.

“Come trick or treat on the 31st, we’ll be here,” she said. “We are pre­pared for any­one that wants to come out.”

Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista

Teah Bid­well’s home, at the in­ter­sec­tion of San­dridge Drive and Theodore Drive, is dec­o­rated with head­stones and skele­tons, in­clud­ing skele­tons on the ground and climb­ing on the house.

Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista

A large skele­ton stirs a caul­dron while a trio of smaller skele­tons hauls a cas­ket.

Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista

Skele­tal mice play while a ca­nine skele­ton howls in Teah Bid­well’s grave­yard.

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