Sandy Zornes was wiped out by the time Halloween Night ended a year ago, in more ways than one.
As sunlight settled well past dusk, and the Zornes’ candy stash was running dry, she was able to scrounge up enough goodies for the last trick-or-treater.
Zornes and husband Terry turned off their porch light, locked the front door and settled in for the evening. Or so they thought.
Ten minutes later the doorbell rang again, even with the darkened porch.
More goblins and ghosts.
“That’s when I had to find Pop Tarts, things like that,” she recalled.
Once again the Zorneses darkened the house, only to be summoned again by a hungry mob.
“I looked out to see a line of kids from my front door to the sidewalk. I had to tell them all we had left were frozen vegetables and canned goods,” she said with a laugh.
The Zorneses hope they won’t be caught off guard this year.
They’ve purchased goodies by the caseload for the past several weeks in preparation of Friday night’s annual ritual.
As always, the Zorneses’ home in the 400 block of East Jackson Avenue is a popular destination point for trick-or-treaters young and old. The Iola Police Department closes the block to motor traffic to allow youngsters safer passage from one house to the next.
Lyle Kern, who lives a few houses down, has another elaborate display at his home, although not as much as in years past.
“I toned it down a little bit, but I’m still happy with it,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
THOSE WITH A taste for adventure can head around the corner from Jackson, to the home of Steve and Cecilia Orcutt, 109 N. Cottonwood St.
The Orcutts do more than just hand out candy. Their colorful, and often interactive, display of goofy and ghostly sights also draws spectators from all corners.
“Many parents that bring their children to our home for Halloween came as little children themselves and they simply want their children to have the same experience,” Steve Orcutt said.
Among the displays this year is Orcutt’s “Campers Four” display, an old wooden wagon (donated by neighbor Jim Smith) piloted by skeletons. A nearby makeshift campfire warms a long-dead rat.
Jeanne Richey of LaHarpe, “the meanest school teacher in the world,” and a werewolf will greet the youngsters as they make their way to Orcutt’s door.
“Our only worry is that last year’s friendly wolf mask is lost and we could only find a scary one,” Orcutt said. “I may have him take his mask off often. It scares me a little.”
The Halloween display has grown in popularity, particularly in recent years as more neighbors decorate their homes.
“We have been collecting things that tell a story for beyond the 45 years we have been married. Instead of asking how much it cost, it would be better to ask how many years it took us to get our act together.”
Answer: also 45 years — and counting.
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