River Forest teen offers homemade Halloween fright
David Beacom has decorated his home for Halloween for the past four years. | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 2, 2012 6:33AM
RIVER FOREST — As with most 16-year-olds, David Beacom loves Halloween.
But the River Forest teen takes his enjoyment of the spooky holiday to another level by turning the front lawn of his parents’ house into an over-the-top Halloween haven each October.
Mannequins dressed to look like dead people and ghostly characters, a realistic-looking guillotine and even a circus complete with evil clowns, the Beacoms’ yard becomes the main attraction of the neighborhood this time of year.
Q: Describe what your parents’ yard looks like this time of year.
A: It’s just a lot of scary stuff. I have lots of mannequins dressed in costumes and masks lying all over the yard, and one area is dedicated to a scary circus scene. There’s also a scarecrow barbecue and some human limbs lying around. It’s not your classic “Happy Halloween” stuff—I try to scare the pants off people. I hand-make everything myself, so everything is original.
Q: How do your parents and neighbors react to it?
A: My parents don’t care, and all the neighbors know me for it. The neighbors actually absolutely love it. The people across the street sit in their upstairs window every year and watch me scare trick-or-treaters when they walk up to the house.
Q: Ever get any complaints?
A: A few people have complained. I’ve had to take a few things down this year, but I had no problem removing the things people found offensive.
Q: What did people say was offensive?
A: I had a sort of demonic-looking sign, and one lady wasn’t too happy with it.
Q: How long have you been decorating the yard for Halloween and how long does it take?
A: For the past four years. I start planning for the next year’s scene on Nov. 1, and I spend all year building things for it. I start putting everything up during the last week of September and it usually takes a full two weeks until it’s finished, and then I keep adding new things until Halloween.
Q: What happens on Halloween night?
A: My friends and I dress up like different scary characters and we hide in the scene and scare people when they walk up to the house. We pop out and walk around the yard and stalk people. Kids are usually too scared to come up to the door and get candy, so my mom runs out to the street to give it to them sometimes.
Q: What do you dress up as?
A: I was Mike Myers from the movie “Halloween” for the past two years, but I can’t disclose what character I’ll be this year because it’s a secret.
Q: What made you want to start decorating your parents’ home?
A: I’ve loved horror movies since I was a little kid and I’ve been collecting Halloween stuff over the years.
Q: What’s the scariest part about your yard this year?
A: The guillotine. It’s just sitting in the middle of the yard, and it looks really scary. Not many people have one of them in their front yard. I actually built two of them and gave one to my cousin.
Q: Do you plan on doing this every year?
A: I want to keep doing it as long as I can. I love collecting the stuff and building new things to add each year.