I howl, you howl, we all howl for Halloween

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published October 3, 2017

 The 5-foot-tall Halloween tree covered with glass form ornaments collected over the past decade is Mosier’s “pride and joy” among her Halloween decorations.

The 5-foot-tall Halloween tree covered with glass form ornaments collected over the past decade is Mosier’s “pride and joy” among her Halloween decorations.

Photo provided by Diane Mosier

METRO DETROIT — You don’t have to howl if you don’t want to, but Halloween is coming, and for many it’s a time of excitement that circles around with the annual changing of the seasons.

The month of October allows many people to celebrate being a kid again with costume parties or surrounding themselves with cute or spooky Halloween décor.

Corie Conroy, a Birmingham-based home stager, said she has seen a spike this year in different types of skeletons. Besides the ever-popular hanging human skeletons, she said skeletal dogs, cats, mice and spiders are trendy additions to Halloween décor.

Skulls are also popular, especially in mantel displays, and people can spruce them up by adding fall decorations or flowers in them, Conroy said.

Using metallic table décor like copper, silver and gold serving platters shaped like cauldrons or pumpkins paired with, for example, black candleholders or flower pots automatically creates a Halloween vibe, she added.

“It adds a classy touch to Halloween decorations,” Conroy said. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money. You can spray-paint items with black or metallic spray paint.”

Another homemade idea, she added, is to create a Halloween garland using string and colored construction paper in black, orange and purple hues for fireplaces or sheltered front porches.

Metal and galvanized tin lanterns, colorful painted pumpkins, fall flowers and metallic flowerpots are all trending outdoor decorations that create a farmhouse feel, she said. Oversize front lawn decorations are also popular, she said, such as inflatables, giant spiders and floating witch hats.

As far as lighting, Conroy recommended marquee lights that say phrases like “Boo,” orange or purple string lights, and themed lights shaped like pumpkins or spiders.

“We’re also seeing more doormats with a Halloween theme,” she said. “You can easily switch them in for the month of October and make your front porch more festive and not too spooky.”

Roland Russell, the general manager of Menards in Warren, said the store has a huge selection of Halloween décor, from lighting to yard ornaments.

Some of the hottest items this year, Russell said, include motion-activated witches and zombies that move and scare people when they walk past, as well as window clings. At press time, he said all of the store’s hanging skeletons were sold out, but more would be stocked shortly.

“We have a mix of cutesy and creepy. Most of our airblown (decorations) are very cute, very festive and, obviously, we have the creepy section, which is more adult-type stuff, but we don’t have anything too scary,” he said.

Other interesting merchandise, he said, includes a variety of Halloween lawn gnomes.

“The coolest (item) here, I think, is the animated candy bowl,” he said. “A hand reaches out and grabs your hand.”

Diane Mosier, a marketing representative for C & G Newspapers, is known throughout the office and her Washington Township neighborhood for being a Halloween aficionado.

Mosier said her passion for seasonal decorating came from her dad and that she enjoys decorating for all holidays, but her favorite is Halloween. It also helps that her birthday is Oct. 16.

“I just love that you can be a kid again, and it’s for everybody,” she said. “The holiday is for everybody — it’s not specific. That’s what I like about it.”

She said she loves to share her love for Halloween. She chaired the decorating committee for her now-13-year-old daughter Leah’s elementary school Halloween fun fair, and she and her husband, Steve, craft a different Halloween layout in their home each year.

Beginning in early September, the Mosier household transforms into a Halloween wonderland. An impressive Department 56 Halloween display lights up the living room on autumn nights, Halloween decorations line the top of the kitchen cabinets, a Halloween welcome archway is visible from the front door, and the Halloween tree is Mosier’s “pride and joy.”

For more than 10 years, Mosier and her family have collected glass form ornaments to hang on the 5-foot-tall black wire tree, lit with golden-orange string lights and carpeted with a black-and-purple tree skirt.

“On Halloween night, I have my front door open and people can see that arch,” she said. “People are like, ‘What’s in your house?’ so I let people walk through my house on Halloween night. They can just come in and see all my decorations.”

Mosier said she only began collecting Department 56 Halloween village pieces approximately four years ago in memory of her late father, who, along with her mother, began collecting Department 56 Christmas village items in the late 1980s and urged Mosier to begin a Halloween collection. She said that between her and her mother, they have approximately 150 Department 56 Christmas houses.

“Once you get into it, it’s addictive,” she said. “We have a graveyard scene; a trick-or-treat lane with specific houses that are, if you will, overdone with Halloween (decorations); a creepy old mansion area; we have a boneyard area.”

Mosier said she likes to have all of her interior decorations in place by Sept. 10, and then on Oct. 1, she decorates the exterior of her home. She said she prefers cute, tasteful and classic Halloween decorations and creating a whole-home vibe that isn’t overdone.

“That’s what I grew up with, and it still creates great memories because our family does it together,” she said.