Every Halloween, Mary Doughty enjoyed turning her Rayland property into a yard of horror, complete with picnicking skeletons, an undead cemetery, a swing set for zombie babies and much more.
As a tribute to their mother, who died Aug. 27 after battling lung cancer, Amy Beall and Patrick Doughty are keeping her Halloween decorating tradition alive. Beall said her mother, much like every year, was looking forward to decorating her yard and home for the season. A sign in the yard includes photos of their mother and states, "In memory of Mary Doughty, we love and miss you mom."
''We almost thought about not doing this. Every box we pulled out was full of memories,'' Beall said while standing outside of her mother's home at 152 Main St. in Rayland. Her father, Jim, still lives there. ''We decided to go big - even if it was tacky.''
Photo by Shelley Hanson
Siblings Patrick Doughty and Amy Beall stand in front of one of their late mother’s favorite Halloween yard scenes at her home in Rayland.
Beall said her mother enjoyed seeing people's reactions to her scary yet comical yard scenes. Many motorists slow down to look or take photos of the hundreds of items.
Doughty, who was 61 years old when she died, was a longtime volunteer firefighter for Rayland and served as a councilwoman.
''Everybody loves her. She was cool. She was such a great person and was very giving,'' Beall said. ''I'm so lost without her every day - it sucks. I don't want anyone to forget her.''
Doughty's love of Halloween, and holiday decorating in general, started out small. Each year she would buy a new witch or goblin on clearance at the Spirit store in St. Clairsville, her children said.
''It just kind of grew on her. And then all of a sudden our yard was wrecked every Halloween,'' Jim Doughty, who is Rayland's fire chief, quipped about his late wife.
Beall said the family plans to continue decorating the yard every year, and plans to see what is on clearance again this year. She noted they even decorated her mother's grave site - something she said Mary Doughty would have gotten a kick out of.
''That would be a joke for her,'' said Doughty's sister, Grace Meeker.