By TRILBY BERESFORD | Reporter
“Creep Your Crypt.” These spooky words describe the Palisadian-Post’s annual Halloween house decorating contest, which truly reached new heights this year.
As Post employees traveled to the office, we witnessed an array of goblins, zombies, witches, giant spiders in intricately woven cobwebs, skeletons, ghosts, ghouls and unidentified creepy creatures acting as a welcoming committee in the front yard of Palisadian properties.
Entries closed on Tuesday, Oct. 30, and now the results are in (drumroll…). Creepiest Crypt goes to Trisha Jochen, Best Theme is Kimber and Chuck Peil (who also won a prize in 2016) and DIY/Originality is Barbara Westlund.
“Halloween is the biggest holiday in our family,” Jochen shared on the phone with the Post. With the help of her “spider web master” boyfriend, she went heavy on the skeleton theme this year. “We even had a skeleton reading the Pali-Post,” Jochen said with a laugh, “and one on the roof with a chainsaw.” There were also spider webs with creepy dolls.
During the decorating process, which took about two full days, Jochen’s boyfriend cut himself and had to be rushed to urgent care. “He’s fine, but it was kind of funny—real blood dripped onto the sidewalk,” Jochen recalled. They were incredibly happy to be recognized.
A delighted Chuck expressed that his family “loves to participate every year.” Their theme was the lifecycle of spiders and ghosts. “The spider’s grab the bad trick-or-treaters and wrap them up in a web,” Chuck said with a laugh.
The Peil’s entire yard was filled with 30 ghosts, 20 tombstones, a subtle skull theme on the left side, and an abundance of smoke machines, lasers and lights. Chuck morphed into an eight-foot ghost.
“The kids love to be scared,” he said, adding that the best part is watching them become a little braver each year.
As a first time participant in Creep Your Crypt, Westlund was thrilled indeed. For her entry, she enlisted the help of partner Paul Borraccia. “We weren’t sure if we could even enter because we live in a condo!” Borraccia explained.
“Our concept was spiders—because they’re like real life monsters in a way,” he continued. “We had a big mechanical man-eating spider crawling into a web with body parts, victims and drips of blood.”
They included sound activated creepy characters such as a doorbell that talked back to children when they pressed it. Spiders were projected onto the ground. The Westlund couple spent about 20 hours on their entry.
“Being in a condo presented challenges because we had to be sure there were no obstacles or hazards,” Borraccia said. “It had to be practical and dependable, like real Halloween prop art.”
Congratulations to every winner and participant. Next up is the Post’s Deck Your Halls contest.