The Ferris wheel in Andy Reid’s front yard is not one you’d want to ride. Not because it’s dangerous, it’s actually perfectly sturdy. He double checked that it would hold up against the fall winds. But, unfortunately, the ride is frozen in time, along with its riders; a group of skeletons and ghouls.
For more than seven years, Reid and his partner, Jamie Beauchamp, have been turning their Bay View home’s front yard into a spooky spectacle and this year’s theme is the “State Scare.” Alongside the Ferris wheel, classic fairground sights have taken a creepy turn, including a terrifying ticket booth and signs advertising “Chili Cheese Toes,” and “Caramel Adam’s Apples.”
As someone who spends his days looking at the big picture while selling houses for Coldwell Banker, Reid does most of the five-week build himself, while Beauchamp, who works with fine details in his floral business, Jaimer’s Floral, is in charge of the finishing touches.
With such an extravagant show for Halloween, how do they top it for Christmas? Well, they don’t. While they will put up a few decorations for other holidays, Halloween is the one that gets most of their attention. Reid says Halloween allows them to let their creativity and imaginations run wild. It also brings out the youthful side of the community. “Everyone becomes a kid again as soon as they come into the yard,” says Reid. “It’s great for kids and they love it, but I think adults love it more.”
And that's what the pair aims for every year when the skeletons and spider webs come out. “It gives the community a chance to step outside of the norm, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and the bills that have to be paid,” Reid says. “They can enjoy something for free and that’s different.”
The giving doesn’t stop with the view. Reid makes an effort to donate as much as he can to various community organizations once the season is over. Every year is different and the planning for the next display is already in the works.
One thankful neighbor asked if there was anything she could do in return for their efforts and they suggested that anyone wanting to give back donate to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Child Abuse Prevention Fund. The cost of the decorations is kept secret by the creators.
They keep everything lit up until 10 p.m. during the week and later on the weekends. Check it out at 2943 S. Clement Ave. The spectacle will be gone Nov. 1.