A lot of people decorate their homes for the holidays, but Bill and Pat Baker of Cleveland take it to a whole other level. For the past two weeks, the Bakers have spent nearly every waking hour setting out lighted, animated and inflatable displays to delight guests for the Halloween season.
The Bakers, who put together an equally impressive Christmas display every year, started their Halloween displays in 2012 at their home at 3387 FM 1010 between Cleveland and Plum Grove. Over the years, the display has grown, requiring the Bakers to purchase a 45-foot-long storage container last year to store their Halloween decorations. Next to it is a 40-foot-long container for their Christmas trees, wreaths and other decorations.
“We keep saying that we aren’t going to add anything more to it, but we do. We end up going shopping and getting stuff on sale, or on Craigslist. We’ve also had people drop off things and donate them to us,” said Pat Baker.
This year, the Bakers added a “Dead and Breakfast,” a shed building filled with spooky animated witches, a cauldron and other scary decorations.
“We also have some new inflatables. We have a wedding gazebo that is set up with zombies, witches and a black widow wedding. Each of the characters is animated. It’s a very interactive display,” said Pat.
“We also added to our duck blind. We have a clown stored there. The teenagers who come have been asking us for a little more excitement in our displays. We are cautioning the parents of little kids who don’t like clowns to not go into that area,” she said.
The yard of the home features two graveyards with rats, toxic waste, skeletons, zombies and other creatures. There are also skeletons on the roof who appear to be trying to get inside the house.
The Halloween display is open through Halloween to anyone who wants to stop by and take a stroll. There is no charge. On Halloween night, from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the Bakers, with the help of a few friends, will serve up hot dogs to the first 400 people in attendance. Candy will be given to children.
“We are inviting our neighbors who have candy and want to help trick or treat to come out and hand out candy,” said Bill. “We are also planning to have a movie screen up on Halloween night to show the movie Transylvania.”
The Bakers, both retired from Exxon, say they look forward to decorating every year and never bother to calculate the costs or the number of items in their displays.
“We are too scared to track that,” Pat said with a laugh. “We just look at it as a way to give back to the community. Every year we say we aren’t going to add more and then we come across pieces we can’t resist.”
Parents with small children might want to bring along a small flashlight for their children to carry as they walk from one area to the next, not just for their safety but also so they don’t miss any of the details of the display.
If you plan to attend, take FM 1010 south toward Plum Grove. The Bakers home is just a few miles south of the SH 105 Bypass. Look for the lights.
By Vanesa Brashier, email@example.com