Spooky homes col­lect­ing ca­nine sup­plies

The Weekly Vista - - Community - KEITH BRYANT [email protected]

Spooky crea­tures lie in wait, par­tially con­cealed by fog and lights, while spi­ders crawl and light­ning flashes across the Vic­to­rian-style home.

A few miles up the road, witches stir their brew, a pump­kin has sprouted legs and started to walk, while a head­less horse­man bran­dishes his pros­thetic Jack-olantern.

Two Bella Vis­tans are putting on a show for Hal­loween and col­lect­ing do­na­tions to ben­e­fit lo­cal dog res­cue NWA Bully Haven Res­cue.

Danelle Knight has a bin for do­na­tions — in­clud­ing dog food and other ca­nine sup­plies — sit­ting out­side her home at 31 Went­worth Drive, with spooky crea­tures strewn across her lawn and lin­ing her drive­way. The fit­ting house num­ber did not es­cape her.

She’s been dec­o­rat­ing for the past decade, she said, start­ing when her two kids were in their teens. Knight said that, while her chil­dren are now in their 20s, she’s still dec­o­rat­ing and hav­ing a great time build­ing props and set­ting them up.

“It gets a lit­tle big­ger ev­ery year,” she said. “Hal­loween’s a fun hol­i­day. There’s no pres­sure, no stress.”

Her garage fea­tures a duct-tape image of two witches brew­ing, while the grim reaper holds a lantern along­side the drive­way. A mummy sits at the cor­ner of the house, and a head­less horse­man stands proud — if a lit­tle short — near the edge of the drive­way.

That horse­man is the new­est ad­di­tion, she said, and she tries to make at least one new prop each year — part of why the dis­play keeps ex­pand­ing.

The tape-based image is hand­laid with­out any sort of guide, Knight ex­plained, and a num­ber of her props are hand­made, in­clud­ing the mummy, a lanky pump­kin crea­ture, a kraken at­tack­ing a skele­ton and that horse­man.

The ma­jor­ity of fig­ures, she ex­plained, are built on a wood or PVC frame, fleshed out with chicken wire. Fab­ric is draped and sewn over the wire­frame, she said, and then cov­ered in fiber­glass and other ma­te­ri­als. The horse’s mane and tail were made with wigs, she ex­plained, and fab­ric is draped and kept still with a home­brew hard­ener nick­named “mon­ster mud.”

“I think we have about $250 in him,” Knight said of the horse­man. “I couldn’t tell you how many hours.”

She teamed up with an­other res­i­dent to col­lect do­na­tions. Knight said her goal was to fill a plas­tic tote with ca­nine sup­plies, and she’s nearly there.

Teah Bid­well, who lives in the heav­ily-dec­o­rated home at the cor­ner of San­dridge Drive and Theodore Drive, is the vice pres­i­dent of the res­cue and a huge fan

of Hal­loween. Bid­well said it’s both her fa­vorite hol­i­day and her birth­day.

Bid­well said she wanted to use this as an op­por­tu­nity to help the fos­ter-based res­cue, and she has a box set up for do­na­tions, in­clud­ing money and dog sup­plies, to help keep the res­cue go­ing.

The res­cue han­dles bully breeds, she said, in­clud­ing Stafford­shire ter­ri­ers, french bull­dogs, ter­ri­ers and, of course, pit bulls.

She has a par­tic­u­lar soft spot for pit bulls, she said — and the dogs match the hol­i­day nicely.

“They are the most mis­un­der­stood breed and so is Hal­loween,” she said. “When you re­search the his­tory of both, they’re both from good roots.”

Both have a rep­u­ta­tion for evil, she said, but pits were ini­tially bred as nanny dogs and Hal­loween is a con­tem­po­rary de­scen­dent of All Hal­lows’ Eve, a Chris­tian hol­i­day.

She’s also putting on an in­door haunted house, she said, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Oct. 27 and Oct. 31. It will be first-come-first­served,

she said, and re­quires a do­na­tion to the res­cue, which can be as lit­tle as a dol­lar, but dog toys, blan­kets or canned food are also wel­come.

Bid­well said that the dis­play took two days of work to get started and, even with skele­tons crawl­ing on the house, props across the yard and a pro­jec­tor play­ing spooky scenes across the home, the whole thing is still a work in progress.

“Ev­ery day we add some­thing new out­side,” she said. “I ab­so­lutely love dec­o­rat­ing for Hal­loween.”

They’re also plan­ning a wild Christ­mas dis­play, she said.

Lind­sey Hardin rolled past Bid­well’s dec­o­rated home af­ter dark, with Ash Hardin, 2, and Cora Hardin, 10, in the back seat.

“I didn’t know you could do like that,” she said, watch­ing dig­i­tal spi­ders crawl down the sur­face of the home.

“It’s pretty in­ter­est­ing,” Cora Hardin said.

Ash Hardin was a lit­tle spooked, though.

“It’s scary for me,” he said.

Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista

A pair of witches cook up some­thing spooky on Danelle Knight’s garage door. Knight said she does a dif­fer­ent de­sign in duct tape ev­ery year on her garage door at 31 Went­worth Drive. Knight said the duct tape is hand-laid, with­out the aid of tools or a pro­jec­tor, which makes for a lengthy process.

Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista

A robed skele­ton stands in the fog and looks over a grave­yard at Teah Bid­well’s house, lo­cated at the in­ter­sec­tion of San­dridge Drive and Theodore Drive. Bid­well has also added a pro­jec­tor, a mas­sive spi­der and hal­loween mu­sic to her dis­play this year.

Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista

Danelle Knight’s head­less horse­man is a new ad­di­tion to her Hal­loween-dec­o­rated home. The horse­man was hand­made, Knight said, and took mul­ti­ple months to com­plete.

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