Local homeowners get ready for Halloween

Escanaba resident Autumn Stemick is pictured amongst some of her family’s Halloween decorations. Stemick said her family started decorating their home for Halloween three or four years ago. (Daily Press photo by Jordan Beck)

ESCANABA — Halloween is just around the corner, and many area residents have decorated their homes to celebrate the holiday.

In Gladstone, Autumn Bailey has been setting up Halloween decorations in her front yard on the 1300 block of Wisconsin Avenue. Bailey said while she has only lived in her current house for two years, decorating for Halloween has been a long-standing tradition in her family.

“My mom and I used to do it when I was a kid,” she said.

Bailey’s outdoor Halloween decorations include lights, a fake graveyard and inflatables.

“I like my blow-up stuff, I guess,” she said.

According to Bailey, Halloween is a favorite holiday of hers.

“(I like) the creepiness of it and the candy,” she said.

Escanaba resident Brett LaFave has put more than two dozen handmade figures on display outside his home on the 900 block of South 15th Street.

“I think we’ve got (30) here,” he said.

LaFave’s figures are made with materials such as coat hangers and shrink wrap. He works on the figures on a regular basis.

“It’s … throughout the year,” he said, noting that it takes him 10 hours on average to make a figure.

In addition to the figures already on display in his yard, LaFave is currently working on an extra-large figure.

“It’s a big Sasquatch,” he said of this project. It will be about 12 feet tall, and LaFave is hoping to have it finished and on display by the end of the month.

LaFave said he enjoys the creative freedom associated with Halloween.

“(It’s) a day when people can be free to express themselves in their own way,” he said.

The Stemicks, who live near Ludington Park in Escanaba, have also decorated their home for Halloween. According to Delta-Schoolcraft ISD student Autumn Stemick, her family has traditionally decorated their house for Christmas, but they started decorating for Halloween three or four years ago.

“We just decided to … have the neighbors enjoy Halloween with us,” she said.

The Stemicks’ outdoor decorations for Halloween include fake gravestones, pumpkins, inflatables and hanging figures. Stemick plays an important role in the set-up process for these decorations.

“I made and set up all the gravestones,” she said. She also set up spider webs, lights and hanging figures for her family’s display this year.

According to Stemick, she enjoys Halloween because of its unique nature.

“You get to dress up, it’s fun — it’s different from all the other holidays,” she said.