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Local resident's Halloween display captures attention
by Steve Beavers
Oct 29, 2013 | 207 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Billy Hill patches up one of his Halloween creations found at 816 Main Street.
Billy Hill patches up one of his Halloween creations found at 816 Main Street.
Motorists creep along Main Street just before dusk.

Faces are plastered against windows as individuals slowly make their way past the 816 address.

Billy Hill is responsible for the curiosity. The 38-year-old has captured the attention of area residents with a huge Halloween display that spills from his girlfriend's rented home to the yard next door.

"I have always been a Halloween and Christmas fanatic," said Hill as he surveyed his creation on Monday. "Even as a kid, I just loved those two days."

As people travel past the home, they can see the Haunted Valley Cemetery, a guillotine, dangling heads, a masked spook performing surgery and several other fun spooky things such as a crawling man and Rotten Realty sign in the yard.

The display is so large that it goes into the yard of home owner Jana Arnold.

"I kind of worried about how people would react to it here," said Hill, who started the decorating around three years at his home in Eastview, Tenn. "I didn't want to stir up any controversy."

He didn't.

"People stop and take pictures with their phones all the time," he said. "Most people have always been attracted to things like this at Halloween and think it's neat … I have never had a negative reaction from anyone and we don't mind people stopping at all."

"We have had so much fun watching people stop and look at the decorations," added Hill's girlfriend, Elisha Thompson.

The amazing thing about the decorations is most have been made by Hill.

"The only thing I haven't physically made are the stones in the cemetery," he said. "It's easy to make, if you can find the stuff to make it with."

Things like old shirts and boots come in handy. Hill has also picked up items from such places as the Goodwill to add to his collection.

"If it's something I can make, that's what I want to do," said the Halloween creator. "It has been pieced together … I just pick up things when I can find them."

Getting everything up is a chore. Hill spent 10-12 hours "working wide open" to get a majority of the display out of the attic and set up.

"It takes all day," he said.

Hill got everything ready the last week of September. Decorations will stay up only a short time in November.

"When the spotlights hit all the colors in the masks, it's really neat," said Hill, a United Stainless of Selmer, Tenn., employee. "The weather takes a toll on things, but at night the effect is a lot better."

His Haunted Valley Cemetery is the favorite of the builder.

"I have had a lot of compliments on it," he said. "Right now, it's not really what I want it to be, but at night it's the best piece."

Both Hill and Thompson are looking forward to Thursday night. They are having some friends over and will be prepared for trick or treaters.

"It's going to be a fun night," said Thompson. "We are going to dress up and get ready for a bunch of trick or treaters."

"We are buying up plenty of candy to give away," said Hill. "It will be fun for the kids and everyone we know is into Halloween like us."

Hill hasn't given much thought to what he wants to add in the coming years.

"I say every year I'm not going to make any more," he said with a smile. "I'm not certain what's next, but I will start digging around to see what I can do."

He's got less than a year to think about it, but rest assured this Halloween fanatic will have something to keep people plastered to their car windows on All Hallow's Eve.
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