Halloween enthusiasts gear up for holiday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 30, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; For people like Carolyn Morrison and Red Mitchell, Halloween is not just another ordinary day. Both Demopolis residents have celebrated &8220;All Hallows Eve&8221; by turning their front yards into masterpieces full of goblins, ghouls and other themed characters for

years.

As her children got old enough to trick-or-treat, she noticed many people did not decorate as much as they used to. It became her mission to change that by making her Halloween display bigger and better each year, which she has done for the last 10 years or more.

With the help of her children &8212; 16-year-old Victoria and nine-year-old Jackson &8212; her friend, Heather Ingram, and numerous others, Morrison undertakes the process of turning her home at 1209 Southmont Drive into a graveyard, a jail scene and even a zombie wedding.

A distinctive characteristic of the Morrison&8217;s display each year are the individual scenes, each complete with live action volunteers to interact with the crowd.

Each year Morrison prepares approximately 150 individual bags of candy to give to trick-or-treaters. Between the animatronic figures, homemade coffins and headstones, battery powered items, strobe lights, extra decorations and extension cords to keep everything running, Morrison said she has invested thousands of dollars in her Halloween wonderland. But for her, it is a small price to pay to reignite the excitement she has for the holiday in other people.

For Morrison, Halloween is a time to dress up and masquerade as a new persona and to enjoy a good scare. But not everyone shares her enthusiasm, she said.

Morrison said she smiles, and obliges the offer, but it does not change the enthusiasm she has for Halloween. Along with her family, Morrison said she enjoys fables, folklore and other &8220;scary things,&8221; so the holiday is a natural time for them to display their creativity, she said. She also takes pleasure in decorating for Christmas.

On the other side of town, Red Mitchell &8212; known to some as &8220;Uncle Red&8221; &8212; has also been decorating for Halloween with a bigger and better display each year. On Floyd Street, Mitchell uses vampires, inflatable ghosts and other items to bring trick-or-treaters coming back.

This year, the item Mitchell is most proud of is a coffin, which he completed with a fake dead person inside. Mitchell said he got the coffin when Larkin and Scott Funeral Home owners were giving away old and outdated models.

Like Morrison, Mitchell invests both his time and money into making his yard memorable.

Also, Mitchell continues to decorate throughout the year, whether it is for a holiday or just with flowers blooming.