When your veterinarian tells you to go down to Jackson Street to see the Halloween decorations, listen to her. You might encounter Vampira, a ghoulish lady who “does vampire” so well you want to release the handshake quickly lest she catch you in a steely grip. Sean and Robin Whitmore have been overdoing it on their front lawn (and roof, and porch) for 25 years. They haul in an old hearse-like 1950s station wagon from their property in Louisa County. There it sits on their Ashton Heights front lawn, blinking, smoking, burning, a rotting corpse in the casket, a skeleton reaching in through the shattered windshield to grab the driver, as though the horrible accident has just happened. It is part of the display on a grassy stage of all the things we fear: plastic dolls with manic smiles, rats, death, accidents, clowns, ogres, and black hooded men holding scythes and looking RIGHT AT US.
Down the street, a more gentle Halloween display: the usual coffin, pumpkins, skeletons, and ghosts, but with a plea to donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital “if you liked the display.” Lori Rizzi, on her front porch, wanted something good to come out of the work she put into her display.
And another eye catcher was the row of 35 jack o’lanterns at the house belonging to Bruce Pickett. “They were made by a friend over the winter,” he said, “and this year he added 15!” To donate to Lori Rizzi’s charity of choice this year, see: www.skeletonsforhope.org