Homespun horrors: Halloween decorations rise from the depths

As Halloween approaches, some people go all out for the ghoulish holiday, like Dana Dyer, who lives at 1755 E. 1310 Road in northwest Lawrence. For 13 years, his yard been scaring the wits out of friends and on lookers. The set up process takes up to 2 months for the right effects.

As Halloween approaches, some people go all out for the ghoulish holiday, like Dana Dyer, who lives at 1755 E. 1310 Road in northwest Lawrence. For 13 years, his yard been scaring the wits out of friends and on lookers. The set up process takes up to 2 months for the right effects.

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Lawrence Journal-World

Dana Dyer has a mixture of store-bought and handmade props and decoration.

Thirteen years ago, Dana Dyer’s Halloween decorations started as just a graveyard, a few jack o’ lanterns and the occasional rat.

Then, over the years, the decor started to expand into the sideyard.

“Then it just took off from there. I just add a little bit each year,” Dyer explains.

Now, it’s a Lawrence holiday attraction.

The path for trick-or-treaters is plotted out, with settings like a haunted house. Visitors enter through the driveway, passing a butcher’s shop, leading to a witch's shack, past a ruined church, entering a dungeon maze, then through a tomb and a graveyard. Dyer doesn't charge admission, since it's set up for trick-or-treaters, but a “Shriner zombie” at the end accepts donations.

Dyer uses some store-bought props, but he eventually started making the creations himself.

“I got to the point where I said, ‘Ah, the heck with this, I can just make my own,’” he says.

Some of the figures are frames using PVC piping. Other heads or skulls were whittled down from wig mannequin heads using a router.

“It gets pretty messy with all the styrofoam floating around, but it’s worth it,” he says.

Dyer says trick-or-treaters are welcome Oct. 30-Oct. 31 starting around 6:30 p.m.

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