WOODBURY- A haunted cornfield made from crowdsourced corn stalks? Gravestones aplenty? A 14-and-a-half-foot pumpkin-headed monster with a body made of branches, twine and rope? Check, check and check.
Woodbury resident Steve Schefsky has always loved Halloween, and for years has slowly transformed his front yard in the month leading up to the holiday. Schefsky and his wife, Adina, used to throw Halloween parties when they lived in a townhome, but couldn't go all-out with decorations in their front yard without getting into trouble with a landlord.
When they moved to their current home at 1727 Sheffield Drive in 2013, they had their opportunity.
"When we moved into a larger house on our own, we could do whatever we wanted," Schefsky said. "The neighbors seem to really enjoy it and encourage us to go further and further each year."
There hadn't been any kind of cohesive theme until this year's "Raven's Hollow." Schefsky transformed his yard and the front of his home into a cornfield filled with undesirable beings, including zombies trying to climb out of a pit, a well occupied by skeletons, and a bare tree hung with stick people that play a major part in the psychological horror film "The Blair Witch Project." Windows appear to be boarded up. Red lights add to the sense of foreboding.
"Cars are always stopping by throughout the month to see how it progresses," said Maxwell Styke, Schefsky's brother-in-law. "Neighbors have even dropped off old branches from their yards to help and he hand cut the corn stalks from a local friend's farm."
Corn stalks that, Schefsky said, squirrels in particular seem to be enjoying.
Schefsky likes to maintain a certain amount of spook, but his displays likely won't drive away younger trick-or-treaters or the more easily scared.
"We try not to go too scary or too gory - I like suspense a lot more than that," he said.
While Halloween is Schefsky's holiday, he said Christmas is his wife's - though they don't go all-out to quite the same extent when it comes to Christmas decorations.
"Halloween kind of won out as far as storage space," he said.
After Halloween night draws to a close, he leaves the decorations up for about a week. But after that, and before the ground freezes, it's time to get the front yard ready for Christmas.