Bennetts get into holiday spirit

Charlie and Angela Bennett decorate their porch in accordance with the holiday season. From Oct. 1 - 31, their porch is ready to delight trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
Staff Writer

Scarecrows, pumpkin head, werewolves and skeletons have made an appearance this year on Commerce Street.

Sometimes the tableau depicts a vampire and his friends, the Frankenstein monster and his bride sometimes pay a visit, even mummys from Egypt put in an appearance, but it is always fun to see who is on the Bennett's porch during Halloween.

"We start getting phone calls in September to ask when we'll have our decorations ready," Angela Bennett said. "My mother loved to decorate and I just continued the tradition. My youngest son decorates at his house, so he loves the holiday as much as we do."

The Bennett's flair for decorating isn't limited to Halloween. They decorate for Thanksgiving, Christmas, either Valentines Day or Mardi Gras, St. Patricks Day and the home is decked out in red, white and blue for Memorial Day and Independence Day.

"Halloween and Christmas are the two where we go all out," Angela Bennett said. "We rotate the Halloween decorations so they are not the same every year. We've had a Gypsy Fortune Teller scene, a Pirate Scene and several others."

The Bennetts buy candy in bulk to be sure to have plenty for all the children who come to their house for Halloween.

"What is the most fun is to see the people who came here as children, bring their own children by," Charlie Bennett said. "We do this for them. We have an average of 700 to 900 children come to trick-or-treat. It was 1,200 one year. That has been the most."

The Bennetts have lived on Commerce Street since 1995, and have been decorating their house throughout the year ever since.

"I made a lot of the decorations and the clothes for the figures," Angela Bennett said. "I bought black tablecloths from Artex when they were closing. I don't do that sort of thing anymore, but we buy some nice animatronics to make everything interesting."

Charlie Bennett will sometimes join in the fun and put on a costume and sit in a chair. There are so many figures, he blends in until he decides to move.

"We don't want to scare the little ones," Angela Bennett said. "But the older ones usually scream and then laugh. It's all fun. We don't want anyone to get hurt."

Charlie Bennett said there have only been a couple of instances of wrong doing during all these years. A group of young people took a witch mask and a Frankenstein mask during a church scavenger hunt. A couple of young women got into a fight on their property once.

"The girls who were fighting, their parents brought them back over here to apologize," Charlie Bennett said. "We appreciated that. The church kids were pulled over by the police and for a traffic stop and they recovered the masks. The witch mask wasn't a big deal, but the Frankenstein one was pretty expensive. But that has been it. Everyone is very respectful and understands we do this for the community to enjoy."