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A spirited Halloween competition is alive in Nampa

Posted at 11:14 PM, Oct 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-30 01:14:57-04

Homeowners in Nampa's Vineyard Pointe neighborhood have been going all-out for Halloween for about a decade. Neighbors Aaron Coleman and Scott Stopak combine store-bought decorations and crafted creations of their own to make ghoulish and ghostly scenes on their lawns.

"We have an association that competes... so they offer up an award for spookiest or most creative or whatever," Coleman says. "My previous neighbor and my current neighbor, we were both fairly competitive at Christmas, then Halloween a few years back. I keep trying to add to it with what little space that I have."

Coleman says the decorations can get expensive. He and Stopak cut costs by crafting some of their own scenes. 

"My favorite features are the ones that I make by hand," Coleman says. "It's a grim reaper that I made, and it's something that I found on Pinterest. It was just a big giant craft thing and it was something I made and the outcome was really cool."

"We added the silhouette with the witches and pumpkins... it was something we saw on Pinterest as well, and I like building stuff, so we came up with that just to add a little bit each year," Stopak says.

For these guys, their competitive sides come out to see who can pull out more stops to complete their graveyards, spider webs, and haunted houses, but it's not all about the friendly competition.

"It's a ton of work," Coleman says. "When the little kids come up and tell you how neat it is or how excited they are... it makes it all worth it."

Coleman and Stopak say in a world that can be awfully scary at times, they hope the decorations can provide an escape for both parents and kids in the spirited fun. 

"We talk about all the things going on in the world that can be negative, but here we are just trying to have fun and have a good time for the kids," Stopak says. "If it's a relief for that, I'm all for it."

Visitors are welcome to check out the neighborhood leading up to Halloween; the homeowners just ask that you leave your bag of tricks at home to maintain the visual treats for years to come.

"Just look, don't touch," Coleman says. "That way, everyone can enjoy it."

Coleman and Stopak will take down the scenes after Halloween to prepare for what Coleman refers to as their "Griswold-like" Christmas decorations.