Hostess of Horror

October 22, 2013

By David Hayes

Newcastle homeowner goes for big frights on Halloween

Long before the calendar flipped to October, and months before stores began selling Halloween candy, Newcastle resident Kim Alhadeff was ready for Oct. 31.

Zombie heads and ghosts hang eerily from a tree in the yard of Kim Alhadeff’s home.

Zombie heads and ghosts hang eerily from a tree in the yard of Kim Alhadeff’s home.

It’s her favorite holiday, and if you didn’t already know it, you’d simply have to take a look at the elaborate Halloween decorations of her China Creek neighborhood home.

“We’ve always decorated,” Alhadeff said. “It’s just gotten bigger and bigger every year. All the kids in the neighborhood just expect us to do it now, so we do.”

So it began during the last weekend of September, the annual task of transforming her yard into a literal shrine to All Hallows Eve. The work was completed Oct. 8.

Now it’s not so much a yard as a veritable graveyard filled with stray bones, unsettling zombie heads, creepy skeletons, ghastly spiders with cobwebs and, of course, the occasional hooded specter hanging from a tree.

A sign declares the home as “Boo Boulevard” and another reads “Caution: Witch Crossing,” which seems pertinent, given that Alhadeff dressed in full witch garb for an Oct. 10 interview at her home.

She takes Halloween seriously, and it shows. Not only is her yard decorated, but touches of the inside of her home bear seasonal decorations too.

Trick-or-treating isn’t only for Oct. 31 at the Alhadeff home. Neighborhood children come to the house throughout October for candy. What’s more is that she’s always prepared with a bevy of treats.

“It’s the best for kids,” she said of Halloween. “It gives them a chance to get a little scare on and maybe be something that they normally wouldn’t be for just one day.”

Some of her decorations are more than 20 years old, including one of her favorites, a hanging reaper that no longer wails as it once did.

Her favorite decoration this year, though, is the husband and wife skeleton duo that dutifully guard her front door.

The installation has a bit of personal value, too, because Alhadeff included her daughter’s wedding veil in the piece. Its inclusion was perfect, she joked, because it may have been cursed given that the marriage was so brief.

Visitors from far away as Auburn and West Seattle now make the annual trek to see the Newcastle yard.

“It just makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something,” Alhadeff said. “If it’s important enough for them to come and see it, then that’s just great. That’s why I always give good candy. It’s a reward for making the trip.”

Alhadeff will keep the decorations up through the first weekend of November, in honor of the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.

 

If you go

View Newcastle resident Kim Alhadeff’s Halloween decorations at 8220 147th Ave. S.E., Newcastle.

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