Buckeye Circle horror
Spooky sounds and voices waft above the rustle of fall leaves as ghouls move and their eyes flash danger. Witches stand around a cauldron cackling about the coming darkness to 1469 Buckeye Circle.
A group of skeletons sit around a campfire, signs point the way to Crystal Lake, Elm Street and the Bates Motel and a cemetery of famous scary folks awaits visitors — if they dare enter.
The Bakers love Halloween and aren’t afraid to show it, creating what they called their contribution to the community to celebrate the holiday.
“The kids in the neighborhood just love it, the neighbors love it,” Mike said.
This is the ninth year for the always growing display, which started when they lived on Franklin and continued when they moved to Buckeye Circle four years ago. This year they even earned a spot on the Salem Historical Society’s Ghost Trolley Tour, which kicks off tonight.
“We started with a few decorations on our porch. We now have a whole yard,” Peggy said.
The Bakers said it’s their effort to put the spirit back into Halloween. They both smiled as Peggy talked about people stopping and posing for pictures with some of the skeletons and monsters.
The planning starts in July as they decide where to place the various features and change up the design every year.
Peggy said they offer “something different for the eye to see that maybe you didn’t see last year.”
The display takes about three and a half weeks to set up. Mike said they added a lot of new features this year, including new witches that move and more skeletons, such as the one drinking by the campfire. Floating reapers chant and do a seance near the front of the yard and a pair of skeletons are carrying a coffin.
Peggy’s dad helped out this year by making a coffin that’s standing up near the new witches. The old witch has been retired to the display inside the garage, which is where they distribute candy during Halloween trick-or-treat, dressed in costumes they make themselves.
Some of the items used in the display are purchased at after-Halloween sales in stores. They also scour garage sales, flea markets and bargain stores looking for items or stuff they can repurpose. They also take everyday items from around the house and transform them into something scary. For the Woman in Black ghost of Jennet Humfrye, Peggy found the victorian-style dress at Goodwill for $10. A piece of wood can become a tombstone. What some may see as an old wooden box, Mike sees a coffin.
Their house is decorated on the inside, too, including the basement.
“I love horror movies,” Mike said.
The Bakers pay homage to the monsters of the movies by placing their names on tombstones. They’ve even brought a few to life in the yard, such as Michael Myers from “Halloween” fame, Freddy Krueger of “Nightmare on Elm Street” and Jason from Mike’s favorite scary flick, “Friday the 13th.”
A pole of signs points visitors in the direction of scary locales, such as Salem for witches, Crystal Lake from “Friday the 13th,” Sleepy Hollow where the headless horseman rides, the Bates Motel from “Psycho,” Elm Street where Freddy Krueger roams and Derry, where a clown terrorized kids in the movie “It.”
There’s usually a block party around Halloween. This year, trick-or-treat remains scheduled for Halloween night from 5 to 7 p.m. on a Saturday.
In the case of this scary scene, don’t turn back — catch a spirit or two.