WALLINGFORD — The red, piercing eyes of the Grim Reaper gaze through the fog billowing out from around one Clifton Street home, whose inhabitants have been steadily growing their Halloween display over the years.
“I like seeing the kids dress up,” said Chrystal Rashba, adding that she enjoys seeing trick-or-treaters react to the display. “Not the scare, but the surprise they get out of it.”
Rashba and her husband, Larry Rashba, started by putting up a witch and a few skeletons around five years ago and have been adding to it every fall. It now includes howling wolves, animatronics triggered by buttons placed on the sidewalk, and a dragon, crawling skeleton and three-headed hound which all billow fog.
Chrystal Rashba, even wanted to purchase a 12-foot skeleton from Home Depot, however they sold out before she could nab it.
“My wife is in love with Halloween. It’s her favorite holiday,” Larry Rashba said.
She’ll be joining the figures on Halloween, dressed up with cat makeup and a black outfit so realistic that she said in past years kids have mistaken her for part of the display. The couple said they plan to give out candy this year.
The family also decorates for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, though only Christmas approaches the scale of their Halloween display with the number of figures they put out on their lawn.
The ghouls start to go out around Labor Day, though if any possible additions catch their eye before Halloween the couple might grab them and expand the display further. Their 7-year-old neighbor, Arianna Wilson, also comes out to lend a hand.
The work is made worth it by the number of neighbors who come to talk, walk by and take pictures, or just slow down in their cars and look.
“The more people that see it, the better,” Larry Rashba said.
The couple hopes that the display will also attract more trick-or-treaters to the neighborhood, since they’ve seen a declining number visiting their street each year. Recalling the Halloweens of her childhood, Chrystal Rashba said she collected candy from all her neighbors every year, which was another way of building a community with the families around her.
“There’s no sense of community anymore, so it gives them a way to come out and meet their neighbors,” she said.