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Eastside Detroit homeowner on keeping the Halloween spirit year round

A house decorated with skulls, dragons, spiders and other spooky adornments.
Erin Allen
Michigan Radio
A Detroit homeowner leaves Halloween decorations up 345 days a year.

For the house on the corner of Agnes and Seminole in Detroit's Indian Village neighborhood, Halloween is a yearlong celebration.

Spearheading this operation is a woman named Tina. She adorns her yard with skulls, skeletons, spiders, eyeballs, tombstones, dragons, ghosts, ghouls-- and, of course, demonic flamingoes. They stay up all year round. Even during Christmas.

“Just throw Santa hats on them, and they're fine,” she said.

Her basement is full of more decorations; those that meet her standards, that is.

“I don't do gory and I don't do cute. I just do old fashioned Vincent Price scary,” she said.

Tina’s perpetual Halloween decorations make her house stand out among neighbors, but that doesn’t faze her. She’s never received complaints from neighbors, but said that even if she did, it wouldn’t matter one bit.

“It's my house,” she said. “I can do what I want.”

As a kid, she loved Halloween more than Christmas, which made her want to decorate for Halloween all year round as an adult. For the past 18 years, she’s done just that.

Tina’s house is a popular stop for trick-or-treaters, and not just because of the decorations. She packs bags of candy for each kid and meticulously tracks how many bags she hands out.

“It's fun. It's crazy. I love the madness of it. Just having like a thousand kids run at you wanting candy, it's amazing. It's the best feeling.”

One year, Tina remembers having almost 2,000 trick-or-treaters come to her house. But last year, due to the pandemic, she only saw a few hundred kids stop by. This year, she’s expecting things to go back to normal.

Either way, she says decorating for Halloween is about way more than passing out candy.

I could say I do it for the kids, but I think I do it for me more than anybody,” she said.

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Claire Murashima is a production assistant for Stateside.
Erin Allen comes to Michigan Radio as a new producer for the station’s Stateside show. She is an experienced communicator driven by her curiosity about stories of people.
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