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Halloween haven: Nancy Wade goes all out decorating her Maupin Avenue house

The outside of Nancy Wade’s Maupin Avenue home features a graveyard that’s watched over closely by a flying bat.
A couple of spooky people hang out in the trees, crying out as people walk past.
Orange string lights are draped over the bushes out front, lighting the way to the porch.
The front door is watched over by a giant black spider wrapped in cob webs just a few feet away from a massive skeleton that hangs over the window that peeks into the living room.
But it’s the inside of the house that takes on a completely new persona, transforming into a virtual Halloween haven.
Everywhere you look there is something to take in.
There are eyeballs on the coffee table, ravens perched on top of the hutch in the dining room and cobwebs spanning the length of entry ways throughout the house.
A black tree made of feathers that looks like it came out of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” sits in the dining room adorned with Halloween ornaments.
Wade has a few larger pieces inside including a terrifying man who speaks with a sinister tone and laugh. A witch near the front door has a crackle that would scare even the Wicked Witch of the West.
Her skeleton collection is a bit more friendly.
The one she refers to as “Daddy Bones” sits at the dining room table with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and a bottle of wine next to his left hand.
In front of this is a dead man’s hand, made up of aces and eights with one card flipped over for good measure.
“They don’t actually know what the last card was, so I came home and turned it over so it would be a true dead man’s hand,” Wade said. “I really enjoy creating little scenes.”
Another one of her skeletons is dressed up like a pirate with a skeleton dog at its feet, one of Wade’s favorite finds.
“I’ve never seen a skeleton dog before,” she said as she showed off the festive bandana wrapped around its neck.
Inside the kitchen is a sign that says “Dracula’s Pub.”
Even the bathrooms and bedrooms are decked out for Halloween. Wade has managed to leave very few nooks and crannies empty.
Melissa Shue, Wade’s next door neighbor, said she’s been impressed with Wade’s attention to detail.
“She’s got a good eye for it,” she said. “She takes it to the next level because these aren’t just decorations, they are characters with stories.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Wade said she started decorating midway through September, a bit earlier than usual because she had a few pieces to put together.
It took her about two weeks to get everything set up.
“It does take a while, that’s why I do it early so I can enjoy it,” she said.
Wade’s been collecting Halloween decorations for the past 20 years, a hobby she shares with her sister, Ann, who lives in Charlotte.
The women typically wake up early the day after Halloween to hit up stores for sales.
“This year I’m taking off work to do it since it’s on a Friday, and I’m already planning where I want to go,” Wade said. “Our Christmas gifts to each other are usually what we go out and find after Halloween.”
A few of the decorations in Wade’s house are the same each year, but she continues to add on and sometimes has to let decorations go to a new home.
“Every year there are better things for Halloween and, unfortunately, I cannot resist,” she said.
After moving into the house about two years ago, Wade decided to add a 24-foot extension onto her garage in order to store all of her decorations.
“It’s for Halloween and Christmas,” she said. “I had to put a lawn mower in there too.”
Wade said her Christmas decorations are just as elaborate, but she has more fun with Halloween.
“I just enjoy trying to come up with funny things to put out,” she said. “I’ve always liked Halloween.”
Wade said she remembers the magic of trick or treating when she was a child. She lived on Fulton Street and would roam the neighborhood or go to the YMCA.
In order to stay fresh, Wade takes pays close attention to decorations put out by others and displays set up in stores.
“It’s a good way to get ideas,” she said.
Wade said one of the perks of living in Fulton Heights is the neighborhood Halloween festivities.
“When I was looking for a house, I really liked this neighborhood and then I heard about the Halloween parade and I thought ‘Well, all the more reason to move here,’” she said.
Sarah Campbell is lifestyle editor of the Salisbury Post. Contact her at 704-797-7683.

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