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Woodridge mother-daughter team goes all out for Halloween

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 4:32 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 11:44 a.m. CDT
Caption
Melissa Clark (left) and her mom Judy Clark get cozy with one of the creatures lurking in Melissa's yard on Monday in Woodridge. Both mother and daughter set up large Halloween displays in their yards each year with Judy's being more on the festive fun side, while Melissa goes for the scary haunted house look. Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com
Caption
Judy Clark (left) and her daughter Melissa Clark stand in front of a creepy wedding scene in Melissa's yard on Monday in Woodridge. Both mother and daughter set up large Halloween displays in their yards each year with Judy's being more on the festive fun side, while Melissa goes for the scary haunted house look. Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com
Caption
Some of the decorations in Melissa Clark's yard on Monday in Woodridge. Both Melissa and her mother Judy Clark set up large Halloween displays in their yards each year with Judy's being more on the festive fun side, while Melissa goes for the scary haunted house look. Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com

WOODRIDGE – For mother-daughter tandem Judy and Melissa Clark, Halloween is a tradition unlike any other in the family.

The Woodridge women go all-out with their Halloween decorations, with each taking on a different theme for All Hallow’s Eve.

Strolling past Melissa’s home on Adbeth Avenue, onlookers will first come to a sign warning of the haunted yard before they encounter bloody skeletons, scary monsters and more surprises.

“At first it was the happy pumpkin style,” said Melissa Clark, who’s been decorating her home for 12 years. “And then it evolved to more of a creepy, ‘Halloweeny’ style.”

Melissa said turning her yard into the spooky scene takes about seven days. Every year she has new, big ideas of how to set up her props.

“I love decorating,” Melissa Clark said. “Some days I go in with a plan and other days I just try to think of things to do, then I try to put it all together.”

This year, the big addition will be a “Ghoul-aide” stand with skeletons and neon-colored drinks that will glow in the dark along with some “Eye-scream,” according to Melissa. But the new addition isn’t the Woodridge resident’s favorite attraction.

“It’s the whole graveyard,” she said. “We all have our own tombstone in the yard and each person picks which skeleton is theirs.”

Meanwhile, Judy Clark’s home on Cambridge Lane takes on more of a “country, pumpkin and scarecrow” theme, according to the Woodridge resident.

Visitors at Judy’s home will find pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns and scarecrows covering the yard, with a touch of harvest.

Setting up the scene is about a four- to five-day process for Judy, who said she’s been decorating for 21 years.

“[Every year] I always think I’m not going to do it,” Judy Clark said. “But it just illuminates at night and I just enjoy doing it.”

Judy, who said she “absolutely loves” fall and Halloween, finds most of her decorations at antique shows, craft shows or flea markets.

Although the two decorate with very different styles and visions, the key factor that keeps them going year after year is the same – their audiences.

“I’m getting used to the fact that people are coming by and appreciating it,” Judy Clark said. “But it’s kind of fun for me because everyone wants to take pictures.”

“I do it for the people,” Melissa Clark said. “And just for myself. It’s this weird thing I do but I love it.” 

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