Family tricks out home for Halloween

Published 5:00 am Friday, October 30, 2009

Almost everyone remembers the butterflies (or bats) that awokein their young stomachs when they had to go trick-or-treat at thehome of that neighbor with the really scary Halloweendecorations.

Sean and Donna Flynn, at 414 Eitel Place, are thoseneighbors.

Each year the couple does their home up in Halloween holidaysplendor – from zombies coming out of their graves in the frontyard to a mad scientist with a bloody head in a jar to themummified corpse on the kitchen table.

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“We just love the horror genre,” Sean Flynn said.

Donna agreed.

“Both of us grew up loving scary movies and books,” she said.”We’re kind of known as the Halloween couple.”

In addition to being the Halloween couple, the Flynns – a highschool English teacher and a movie store manager – also write andmake their own horror films.

“This is a chance for us to go public,” Sean Flynn said,laughing.

Family friend Doug McCardle of Jackson sat at the kitchen tablenext to the mummy corpse as Donna worked on icing a cake with afreaky old church on it. He said he’s in town for the big Halloweenshindig the Flynns put on every year since they moved to Brookhavenfrom Hattiesburg in 2002.

“Y’all had it before you moved here too,” he said to the Flynns.”I’ve been here every year they’ve had it.”

McCardle said he has his costume as a “mac-daddy” all ready togo, and Sean and Donna have a new twist on an old classicplanned.

“We’re going to do something of an evil Wizard of Oz,” SeanFlynn said. “She’s going to be a zombie Dorothy, and I’m going tobe a wicked Scarecrow. We have a friend who’s going to be a brutalTin Man, and one who will be a Savage Lion.”

He said people come from all over, including beyond McComb andJackson, to experience the spooky fun each Halloween.

“Our parties are drawing a bigger crowd,” Sean said. “Usually wehave some elaborate and creepy game with complicated puzzles …They seem to enjoy that part.”

He said usually they don’t have trick-or-treaters because theparty takes place on Halloween night, but this year it falls onFriday, leaving Saturday open for little ghouls and goblins totrundle through the yard … if they dare.

And their daughter Ashlyn, 10, who plans to be a punk vampirefor the festivities, said she’s just as excited about the holidayevery year as her parents are.

“I like it a lot because I’m like them, I like Halloween,” shesaid. “I just like this whole thing we do here.”

The other seasons aren’t nearly as big a deal, the Flynns said,adding that they’ll put up a few Christmas decorations, but it’snothing compared to the festivities at Halloween.

The neighbors apparently enjoy the display as well. When theFlynns first moved in, they were the only house on their cul-de-sacthat decorated at October’s end. But now several neighbors are inon the fun.

“They like it,” Donna Flynn said. “The first year we put it up,one of the neighbors came by to say he loved it.”

Most of the decorations come down a day or two afterHalloween.

“But the mummy stays on a shelf in my office,” Sean Flynnsaid.