Halloween is serious business at the home of Deanie and Gordon Brans. The decorations are a little more unique, a little more over the top, and a little more festive than your average pumpkin on the doorstep.
"I don't know when we started decorating, I guess when the kids were small," said Deanie.
The Brans and their three children - Abbie, 15, Dalton, 13, and Natalie, 10 - live in historic Marietta and capitalize on their love of old things when decorating for Halloween. They recycle items such as granite slabs obtained from a building that was torn down on the Marietta Square to create a graveyard with tombstones. They also strategically place antique tools they have collected in the graveyard as well.
"(Old things) kind of gives that spooky feel," said Gordon.
A Dracula coffin that Gordon made with leftover wood sits in the front yard. Vintage goblins flank the front door lit by orange and black lights.
"My husband dresses up Halloween night and stands at the front door like one of the ghouls and surprises the kids who come to the door," said Deanie with a chuckle.
Halloween is about having fun, said Gordon who organizes a hayride for children in their neighborhood each Halloween. "It's all fake stuff. I look at it as dress up," he added. "It's neat to see all the kids dressed up and their reactions, that's what I like the most."
The Brans also transform a shed in the backyard into a haunted house that is best appreciated at dark. "The kids thought it would be neat to have a haunted house and we just gradually kept adding to it," remarked Gordon.
The shed, constructed from 80 percent recycled materials, houses a headless mannequin and a ghoul lying in state draped with spider webs. A fan blows swags of material for a ghostly effect lit with black lights. "It's just old odds and ends," explained Gordon, "things we recycled."
With a little imagination and using what they have on hand, the Brans create big family fun.
"I guess my husband and I are just big kids," said Deanie. "We've always enjoyed doing it."