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Davis Journal

Halloween display hauntingly delightful

Oct 31, 2022 09:23AM ● By Becky Ginos

Roxann Golightly-Williams created this Halloween Wonderland in 21 trips from her shed to home with a laundry basket full of Halloween decorations. She took off a week from work putting in around 80 hours to complete her “Spooky, not scary” village of LeMax Spooky town pieces. The decorations began 24 years ago with inflatables hanging from trees in her yard and has progressed each year. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

CENTERVILLE—When Halloween hits, RoxAnn Golightly Williams transforms her Centerville home into a menagerie of decorations to celebrate the holiday. Trick or treaters delight at her Halloween village displayed in her front window for all to see.

“I’ve been doing it for about 20 years,” said Williams. “I’ve always liked Halloween. In the olden days there weren’t many decorations. You just bought it whether you liked it or not. Then one time when I went into Ace Hardware I found a cool Halloween village. It’s set up on a table in my living room by the window.”

Williams said she decorates for every holiday. “But not to the extent of Halloween and Christmas.”

There’s a chalkboard sign inviting people to come in and look at her Halloween display. “The neighborhood kids come by when I’m setting up to check the progress,” she said. “Then when I take it down and it’s almost gone, they’ll come by and say ‘There’s only one building left.’”

It’s grown over the years, she said. “It started with a few houses and now it’s a Halloween city metropolis.”

When the company Williams works for was bought out, some of the executives from Texas came out to visit. “I asked them if they’d like to see my village,” she said. “They did. I try not to build it up so no one is disappointed but nobody ever has been.”

The decorations take up nearly the entire living room, said Williams. “Along the perimeter I put out other things like dolls, salt and pepper shakers and I collect figurines. I like old vintage stuff. I have holiday postcards that are 100 years old. In the corner shelf I have my grandma’s old antique bottles that look like potions a witch would use.”

Outside there are flags along the fence with lights, she said. “I used to stack up McDonald’s happy meal buckets and make a pyramid with lights flashing but it was too hard to keep them from falling over. Now I just put one of each type of bucket out.”

Williams said she decorates the inside before she puts out the village so she doesn’t have to work around it. “From start to finish it takes about three weeks to decorate. If I draw it out it takes longer. I store the houses in the shed in the backyard. I use laundry baskets to put it away and it takes 21 trips.”

She uses tables and boxes as risers. “It’s different every year,” said Williams. “I have a basic plan. There’s a scene of normal  trick or treaters in front, a torcher factory, carnival rides, cemetery, a witch neighborhood, a pirate ship, Wild West and a pumpkin patch. It’s sort of like a neighborhood.”

In years past, Williams said she would count all the witches and Frankensteins. “That got to be too much so now I keep a figure from each holiday and put it in the display. I give the kids a list to see if they can find them. The kids enjoy that a lot.”

Almost all of the village has lights, she said. “I also use a single lightbulb to create a lot of movement and projector lights that give the illusion of movement.”

Williams said her husband puts up with her craziness. “Every year as I start to put it up he says, ‘let’s cut back.’ But once it’s done he tells everybody to come.”

Williams loves having people stop by to see her display. “I clean fingerprints off the window three times a day,” she said. “But it makes me happy too to see people are enjoying it.”λ