The red house on Main Street in Tarboro might have earned itself another nickname this season – The Halloween House. Homeowners David and Mindy Cox light up their spooky décor every day at dusk.
“Everybody seems to know the red house on Main Street to start with,” said David. (Most of the houses on the street are painted a neutral or pastel color.)
Now that David and his wife have an assortment of about 50 Halloween decorations outside their house, he said they have “a steady stream of cars” slowing and stopping to admire their decorations.
“I love seeing the faces of kids and grown-ups parked by the side of the road,” said David.
His favorite decoration is the life-size witch on the porch, who is motion and sound activated.
“She hollers out sometimes during the day if there’s a loud noise,” he said. The lady who brings the Cox’s mail every day now approaches the witch cautiously since the day the sound of the shutting mailbox set her off, said David, with a grin. The witch, who guards the porch with her cauldron and broomstick, has about eight different phrases that she screeches, including “Where’s the beef?”
Adding to the creepy feeling of the “Halloween House” at night are a moving light-up spider and Grim Headless Horseman on the roof.
“The spider gets people because its head turns. They feel like it’s watching them,” said Mindy.
Another “hazard” at the Halloween house is “George,” the skeleton on the porch, who lights up and shakes in his cage, yelling, “Let me out!”
A light-activated “banshee” in a tree in the yard, a strategically-placed Jason (from “Friday the 13th”) at the top of the front porch steps, and Mindy’s favorite — a witch on a broomstick who appears to have slammed into the corner of the second story of the house– are among the other frightful sights at the “Halloween House.”
The Cox’s have always loved Halloween.
“It’s one of your best holidays during the year. It’s when grown-ups get to act like a kid for a change,” said David.
“We’ve accumulated this over the last 20 years,” said Mindy, gesturing at the array of Halloween decorations in her yard. The newest addition to the Cox’s collection is a glowing spider on the roof of the back porch, purchased about a week ago at Lowe’s.
“We shop local,” said Mindy. Among her oldest decorations are the friendly-looking light-up jack-o-lanterns in the yard. She bought them when her older children were small and she wanted to have decorations that weren’t “too scary.” Other not-so-innocent-looking oldies are a corpse bride and groom hanging from the porch.
“I love the spooky bride and groom. It’s my favorite part,” said the Cox’s 12-year-old daughter, Mary Beth Jenkins. “I’m looking for a zombie bride and groom now.” She plans to dress up as a zombie for Halloween. David and Mindy like to dress up as the Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween and hand out candy to treat-or-treaters.
The words “enter if you dare” on the white picket fence of the home at 900 Main Street urge trick-or-treaters to proceed with caution. In the words of David and Mindy, “George will be moving around” and “The spider will be watching.”