Hanging up Halloween spirit in LO
- Nicole DeCosta
- West Linn Tidings - Features
Body parts hang from trees. Blood gushes from an upper pond to a lower pond. Chains hold up the skeletons of the less fortunate. Motorists drive by and stare at the murder scene with bewilderment.
But no police are present. No one stops to help the victims. And each day Maria Mattison's front yard becomes more gruesome.
Located on the corner of Bryant Road and Lakeview Blvd., Mattison's house has spooked spectators for over a decade - but on purpose. The Lake Oswego resident says she enjoys decorating for Halloween and the month of October is dedicated to all things dreadful.
'It's an influential corner. People meet me and they say, 'I know your house. You're so creative,'' Mattison said. 'My mom (decorated) when we were kids - every holiday, every party. I just continued on with the tradition. I've been here 12 years and everyone knows it as the house with decorations and lights.'
And while she doesn't have any kids of her own, the 200 to 300 trick-or-treaters she gets each Halloween feel right at home with the haunted house theme. Professional lights illuminate the holiday décor at night. Tombstones spell out trouble for the lost. And no skeleton is left hiding in the shadows.
Or are they?
'(On Halloween) I get the fog machines going at the bottom of the stairs so the fog is rolling up the stairs. We get the haunted music going,' said Mattison. 'It's just an absolute blast.'
Mattison's creativity spans all seasons and she says she looks forward to changing the appearance of her front yard.
'I have to have something going on year round. Christmas is no different,' Mattison said. 'Christmas starts around Thanksgiving because I get antsy. I don't like taking something down and not putting something back up.'