WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Many houses and neighborhood streets will sit quiet this upcoming Halloween night thanks to the big bad monster known as COVID-19. But if you and the kids still want to squeeze in a couple of tricks and treats that night, cruise down Bonny Drive or Royal Road in Lakeside City on All Hallows Eve. There, you’ll find two houses lit up and devilishly decked out for October 31st.
For Julie and Jeff Coley, decorating their house on 111 Aberdeen Drive with creepy and curious decor has been a favorite family tradition since 1983. Something COVID-19 wasn’t about to scare away so easily.
“We’ve always decorated for Halloween and Christmas,” says Jeff. He adds it’s fun to see the kids who used to come by all grown up, and bring their own kids to see their spiders, skeletons, and a real hellish hearse called the Dead Sled.
“We light it up, we got the fog machine to go under it and multi-colored lights, plus we got a coffin inside with John Doe that likes to raise up and talk to everybody, and scare people,” says Jeff.
Julie and Jeff are also local scholars when it comes to Wichita Falls history. Parked in their driveway is a 1968 model replica of the WFPD squad car #516, where two young officers were crushed inside their vehicle when a brick wall collapsed on top of them.
Julie also does a haunted history podcast where she regails audiences with eerie experiences she and others have had when she used to conduct ghost tours around the city. You can listen to her podcast right here.
About 10 minutes west of the Coley’s is a house at 401 Royal Road, with 40 spiders on its rooftop, inflatable phantoms in the yard, hundreds of lights and cobwebs, and that’s not even the half of it! …The evil geniuses behind such a grand display are Ed and Patsy Daniels, who have been residents of Lakeside City for over 40 years. Patsy, aka, the Queen of Halloween even goes all out with the spooky nik naks inside her home! Yet, her design for the outside is why a line of 40-50 eager trick r treaters always show up at their doorstep.
“I make sure I have a cemetary, a pumpkin patch, and then the blowups on one side,” says Patsy. “I keep saying this is my last year, but I think it’s so fun.”
With both being in their 70’s and Patsy recently injuring herself, their wicked wonderland almost didn’t happen at all. But thanks to community support and the help of a local businessman, Patsy and Ed were able to kick off the holiday season the best way they know how, while bringing joy back to the local kids.
“I just feel like kids need to live a little bit, and they’re having so much trouble with someone homeschooling them and they’re not used to it,” says Patsy. “Some people just don’t believe in Halloween, but I just like it’s a fun thing for the kids.”
Both Patsy and Julie have a plan to give plenty of treats to kids without playing any tricks when it comes to their safety.
“We’re going to set a table out and we’re going to use an old-lady-grabber and I’m going to grab the bag and of goodies and put it in their bags so we can do our social distancing,” says Julie.
“I’ve sacked it up this year just to make it easier just to hand out and not be handling anything,” adds Patsy.
“As long as everyone can be safe and keep their distance and wear their masks, I think the kids can have a good time with it,” Julie remarks.