Spooky homes collecting canine supplies
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.
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.
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.
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.