Annual Halloween display wows once again in St. Stephen

Sari Green/Courier This is just a small sample of the Halloween display at 241 Milltown Boulevard in St. Stephen. Homeowner Julie Dean said she has been busy since the summer, collecting and creating items for the display, which is lit up at night, giving it an even spookier appearance.

St. Stephen – Even though there are going to be restrictions this year due to COVID-19, Charlotte County is not giving up on Halloween. Some areas are holding trunk-or-treat events, while others are allowing people to hand out treats, as long as COVID-19 regulations are being followed. One St. Stephen resident is thrilled to death about this news, and is looking forward to having trick-or-treaters coming to her door. Julie Dean, who lives in an older, Victorian-styled home that practically begs for Halloween shenanigans, has already begun decorating for one of her favourite days of the year.

Dean said she and her husband moved to St. Stephen about 10 years ago, and they started their Halloween decorating by putting up a few lights. From there, it snowballed, and every year residents look forward to seeing the huge Halloween display all over the front porch and lawn. Dean really got into the decorating, and even started creating various themes for her displays.

“When we moved here, we started with a few lights, and then it just got more and more and more. Then we started doing the Walking Dead one year, and then the freak show, and we just kept going,” said Dean.

The Halloween decorations at the Dean home have been going up for about five years. Dean said they didn’t do it for a couple of years due to her husband being ill, but now they are back to doing Halloween in style.

“This is the first year back up. I made these things (decorations) all summer.”

Dean loves Halloween, and looks forward to decorating her home each year. She and her husband also decided that they should decorate for the Christmas holiday as well. So now, each year St. Stephen residents can look forward to seeing two fantastic displays at the Milltown Boulevard home.

“Of course, we couldn’t leave out Christmas, so we did Christmas as well,” Dean laughed.

This isn’t the first time this year that Dean has put skeletons on her front lawn. She said this has been a crazy year for everyone, especially the kids, so she wanted to do something that would bring smiles to everyone’s faces. So, back in March, the skeletons appeared on the lawn.

“This year, was kind of crazy for the kids. The skeletons were out during the March craziness,” said Dean.

Dean doesn’t just decorate her lawn and the outside of her home. She really goes all-out, and decorates her front entryway as well. Normally, she would have trick-or-treaters come right to the door and step inside so they can see the assorted ghouls that live there. This year, she plans on doing things a bit differently because of COVID-19. Instead of having the kids come inside, she will be giving out treats on the front porch.

“If they want to come up, they can,” said Dean. “I decorate inside. I’ve got black Christmas trees and things like that. It’s usually for when the kids come in. I’ve also got music ready to go. They come in here, and they see my little spooks sitting there. They’re ready to go out and help with the candy. I’ve got music and everything in place.”

The haunted house on Milltown Boulevard sees many trick-or-treaters each year. Dean said she usually has around 300 kids show up, while her neighbours have just a few. She said the neighbours usually get the kids who are waiting in line to see her display.

“They always joke with me, because I get 300 and something and I’ll say, ‘how many did you get’ and they’re like, ‘three’,” Dean chuckled.

Many people wouldn’t want to have hundreds of people taking pictures of their home, but Dean loves it. She said people line up to take pictures, and she loves seeing the kids coming around to take selfies with the displays.

“We had a smoky pirate one year. I looked out and they were all taking selfies with it. That was good.”

The Halloween display looks pretty awesome in the day time, but it is even more incredible at night when the sun goes down and the lights come on. Dean said she has spotlights for certain decorations, including a dragon that is sitting on the porch.

“He’s got smoke and everything. Usually the kids come around here (to the door) and they can see inside,” said Dean.

If you want to check out the scary-fun display, all you have to do is head to 241 Milltown Boulevard, across from Riverside Grocery. Even if they weren’t able to hand out treats this year, Dean said they still planned on putting up their decorations. They enjoy doing it, and they enjoy watching others enjoy what they have put together. She said it is particularly important this year to be able to make people smile.

“I was still going to put up the decorations. I want everybody to enjoy it and have some fun.”

sarigreen@stcroixcourier.ca