A Halloween for all different ages

Published 5:59 pm Friday, October 30, 2015

A scary cemetery located in the Bowles front yard.

A scary cemetery located in the Bowles front yard.

Halloween isn’t just for youngsters. Quite a few adults have fun decorating their homes, their pets and putting on costumes themselves to hand out treats or go to a party.

So, how do you celebrate Halloween?

Ashley White and Beth Eck at the Bainbridge-Decatur Animal Shelter take out their costuming compulsions by dressing a shelter animal each day of the month in October. Their pictures are posted on Facebook., where they are very appealing and it is hoped they will attract prospective adopters.

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It takes several employees to get the animal dressed and photographed, but Ashley said it is such fun and she thinks it makes the shelter look like more of a fun place. “It is not all sadness there,” she explains. It also shows the good-natured disposition of a dog who will tolerate it.

Both Ashley and Beth say they love Halloween, that it is their favorite holiday of the year. They have been dressing the animals for about three years now, and have acquired a whole bin of costumes. Some are donated hand-me-downs from pet owners who insist their own animals have a new costume each year, while others are handmade by Ashley and Beth. They get a lot of their ideas off Pinterest, then make the costumes from items they have at home.

Followers on Facebook will note one cute little dog named Elsa appears frequently. That is because she is so cooperative when it comes to dressing up. Elsa also has the distinction of being the longest resident of the shelter. She has been there since Feb. 22, 2012.  She is a medium sized dog, and seems to enjoy all the attention of dressing up, or maybe it is the treats she gets after the photo shoot.

Jess loves being made into a Swiss Miss with her golden yarn braids made by Beth.  She is one of the “J Pups” available for adoption from the shelter.

Jess loves being made into a Swiss Miss with her golden yarn braids made by Beth. She is one of the “J Pups” available for adoption from the shelter.

Charlie Bowles began decorating his house and yard on Lake Douglas Road for the benefit of his own children several years ago and found it to be so much fun that even though his children are mostly grown and gone, he has continued to add to the scene each year. He has a fake cemetery, complete with head stones in the front yard, and has built a coffin in which he displays a skeleton. He and his son have a collection of scary costumes they like to dress and walk around the yard spooking the trick and treaters while his wife Kim hands out the treats. He assures it is all in fun, and that he is very cognizant of young kids who might be overly frightened. In that case he removes his mask and reassures the little ones that all is well.

“When I was growing up a few folks in town did this, and as a kid I really enjoyed it,” he explains. Now, he looks forward to all the young visitors who come to his home. “It’s as much entertainment for me as for the kids,” he explains.

Tommie and Judie Hannah live on Shotwell Street where their front porch and walk are decorated with scarecrows and ghosts to greet the little ones.

Judie gets excited when she talks about decorating, saying, “I just like to do it for the kids.” She plans to have a popcorn machine and cokes on the porch, as well as a lighted tree with goodies from which the children can choose their treat.

She and her husband also plan to don costumes on Halloween, although she wasn’t sure as of Tuesday just what they would be. She recalls one year they were both dressed as mice. She also dresses her dog — a Cocker Spaniel, who she said loves his wardrobe that includes a doctor suit, a Lion and a dinosaur suit.

Judie said she just loves to decorate and we can expect to see the house take on a different look with each holiday.