This Is Halloween, Everybody Make A Scene!
WHEELING – An otherwise typical home off a side street in Elm Grove is drawing some local attention this season due to the large number of holiday decorations on display there compared to other homes on the street.
Jody Ward and her husband, Henry, live on Gaewood Avenue near the Elm Grove Terrace shopping plaza in Wheeling. With Halloween approaching, their festively adorned house sports a growing number of Halloween decorations, many of which are homemade.
Ward said they go big on Christmas decorating as well, and that their Halloween decor starts to creep out in late September. The tradition grew out of entertaining her children, then grandchildren as they came along.
“We really enjoy decorating for the holidays, just because of the kids,” Ward said. “It took us probably about three weeks, and we add something every year. We started around the end of September. We made the casket this year, it was new.”
Henry crafted the casket box out of wood they had on hand, Jody said, and the cost of adding new decorations isn’t as high as it may look. Most items are reused from year to year, and Jody said they got some secondhand, including a skull chandelier from her father that hangs from their garage. That piece originally came from the Eagles Club.
“I just went, ‘We need this,’ and he makes them,” she said of her husband. “We paint them and have a good time. … The only thing we bought new this year was the tombstones, and one skeleton. My daughter and my dad both had the rest of the stuff, they just brought them down here.”
The Wards moved to Elm Grove in 2018 and didn’t put as much effort into decorating at their old abode, where Jody said trick-or-treaters were far less common.