Annual haunt on East Main Street across from the Ashland Armory has resident zombies this year, along with longtime house witch Hagatha
By Peter Finkle for Ashland.news
Combine a theater major (Karen Moore/mom) with two artistic children (Isa and Antonio), then add their favorite holiday of the year (Halloween), a pinch of creativity, and a perfect front yard location. What do you get? You get the unique, scary, bold and fun Halloween display in the 1400 block of East Main Street, across from the Oregon National Guard Armory.
If you haven’t seen their Halloween world yet, prepare to be impressed. If you’ve visited their yard and trick-or-treat room in previous years, prepare for even bolder and scarier displays this year.
They plan to complete it soon, so the community can enjoy the old and new skeletons, clowns, pirates, witches and zombies for the entire month of October.
Brief back story
I talked with the family on Sept. 16. Karen’s family has been decorating for Halloween since her children Isa and Antonio were little. They were creative with costumes when the kids were younger.
As the “kids” became teens and grew in artistic creativity, the family decided to let their imaginations go wild with theatrical Halloween settings.
They got permission from the city this year to put up a structure that will support and protect their “bigger and better” Halloween displays.
New this year: zombies
These are homemade zombies, started literally from a skeleton and then created layer by layer of “flesh” and “blood.” I recoiled in my first glance at the zombies in their cage, and I asked Karen if she thought they would be too much for small kids. She laughed and replied that youngsters from nearby Willow Wind school have been walking by, going right up to the zombies in the cage — and loving them.
New this year: Pirates
Ahoy, me hearties! What’s this? Pirates along East Main Street? If you went trick-or-treating inside their haunted house last year, you might remember the Pirates of the Caribbean theme. An elaborate pirate world will now be part of the street display.
Hagatha is back
Hagatha the witch was the first animatronic creature in the family’s Halloween decorations, going on 10 years now. I love her surprise outburst of a witchy cackle followed by “I’ll take real good care of ya” (and more) as you walk by her “Hansel and Gretel in the woods”-themed shack.
One more preview, without giving too much away. This year’s haunted house, where you get your candy, will shift to a zombie theme. The family is upping the scariness level of this haunted house, so it will be for older kids and adults. Young kids will have their own trick-or-treat action nearby in the front yard.
Peter Finkle gives Ashland walking tours. See WalkAshland.com to learn about his new Haunted Ashland tour, or to request a custom tour.