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Make Halloween as Scary (or Pretty) as Possible

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As soon as the calendar flips to October, Halloween buzz is in the air. People discuss potential costume ideas, Halloween get-togethers start filling up the calendar, pumpkins are displayed outside the supermarket, and you suddenly find your cupboards stocked with candy – for trick-or-treat taste-testing purposes, of course.

But without fun home decorations, Halloween would just be another holiday where you dress up as a blood-soaked ghoul. Decorating for Halloween is at least half the fun – but you don’t have to cover your whole house in fake spider-webs to get into the spirit of the season.

Nick Dugan is co-owner of Harvest Creek, a home décor and gift shop in Winterset, Iowa that specializes in seasonal home decorations. Dugan notes that “Halloween is now the second most popular holiday in terms of retail sales,” and adds that the demand has created a more varied supply for those looking to dress their house for the holiday. “Halloween decorations of all kinds have become more available and more popular in the past few years – the [selection] of classy Halloween decorations available is amazing.”

Classy Halloween decorations? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? Not according to Dugan, who has seen a rise in the popularity of more sophisticated decorations like ceramic pumpkins and jack-o-lantern pottery pieces. “We carried some great [ceramic pumpkins] with a votive candle inside. People often decorate with pumpkins all during October and November, because they are really ‘fall’ decorations. The pumpkins can stay out until it is time to decorate for Christmas.”

But if you’ve got a soft-spot in your heart for huge, plastic ghosts in the front yard and mechanical zombies in the window, that’s okay, too, though you might want to breathe some new life into the scene this year.

Lisa Buscani is a Chicago-based writer and performer who says, “I'm not bothered by tackiness – I love tacky. What bugs me is that people don't try [to] use their imaginations. It doesn't matter if your decor isn't perfect, but it should reflect you, like any good home decor.”

Dugan suggests one of the new, three-foot tall, realistic looking witches with pose-able arms and legs. “You can set them on a chair or a couch and ‘arrange’ their arms and cross their legs,” he says. And if a huge witch on your lawn doesn’t appeal to you, then he recommends going au natural, instead. “Colorful mum plants and good ol’ orange pumpkins always make a great addition to any front door.”

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