Halloween House

When it comes to celebrating Halloween, sisters Kelley and Christy Means bring the holiday to life! Each year, the sisters turn their yard in the Chapel Creek neighborhood of Conway into a Halloween showplace, featuring different holiday- related scenes that bring joy to kids and adults alike. To finish off the holiday with a bang, the sisters and their parents offer a Halloween carnival on Halloween night. “Our Halloween decorations started four years ago and consisted of two skeletons sitting in chairs on our back patio with spot lights on them. One of the little neighbor- hood boys asked his dad every night if he could come by and see “Bones” (meaning our two skeletons). Well ... after seeing his excitement, it was on after that,” said Kelley. The sisters also decorate on Christmas.
“We love bringing joy to others. Each night during the month of October and Decem- ber, we have a steady stream of cars driving by. We live in a fabulous neighborhood and our neighbors are so wonderful to allow our holiday indulgences,” Kelley said.
Although there is no particular theme to the Halloween decorations, Kelley and Christy create scenes that can be enjoyed by all ages, and they stay away from spooky and scary images.
“Each year we choose scenes that children will enjoy and have a couple of scenes that the adults will recognize. We created one scene from Saturday Night Fever (complete with disco ball and flashing lights) that we knew most adults would recognize and enjoy. We thought we would take them back to the ‘70s for a trip down memory lane. We change the scenes each year to keep it fun and exciting,” said Kelley.
“We want this to be a family friendly environment where parents feel comfortable brining their children out for fun. Some of the families have told us their children beg to come by every night and for another peek.”
Although the sisters create all the scenes, the entire family gets into the act when it comes to setup. “Getting ready is definitely a family affair. Each year we have several scenes that require building projects of some sort. Our Dad is creative and always willing to help us build exactly what we are looking for. We all love what we do and we start planning months in advance,” says Kelley.
Their Halloween decorations are normally put out the last weekend in September and it usually takes three to four days to complete. “This past Christmas we featured different scenes from Christmas Story and we will add to that, but for Halloween we have a tendency to start over with each scene that we do. We try to be creative and make it new and excit- ing each year,” said Kelley.
“This year we had to upgrade to a 30-foot storage building to hold all of our holiday decorations. We like to make our skeletons come to life, and you NEVER know that they are going to be doing or what predicament they are going to get themselves into.”
On Halloween 2016, about 1,000 people visited the home at 145 Merlot to trick-or- treat and enjoy the carnival games and prizes. “It is a family endeavor and a true labor of love for all of us. Dad runs the popcorn machine each year, and we make cotton candy, have cookies, cupcakes and hot chocolate, and Mom heads up that area,” Kelley said.
“We have wonderful friends who help us run the carnival games and bounce houses. We enjoy every minute of it. It keeps growing every year because all of the community is invited to drop by. I am so excited to display our latest creations.”
Kelley’s upbringing definitely inspired her current fascination with holiday décor. Not only did her Mom decorate their own home, but they also enjoyed seeing displays throughout town.
“We grew up in Texarkana, Texas, and each Halloween and Christmas my Mom would decorate the house and make it such a special time. I remember driving around each Christmas with my parents and grandpar- ents looking at Christmas lights,” she said. “I still remember one home in particular that had Santa and a team of reindeer that would move back and forth on a cable attached to the roof. I remember how much joy that brought to me and I wanted to one day do that same thing for others. If we can bring one smile or one bit of joy to a family during the holidays, it makes all of the months of planning worth every minute.”
Neither of the Means sisters is a professional designer, but it seems there is quite a bit of decorating ability in their blood. “I am a Nurse Manager at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and my sister is a Sales Rep- resentative for Lazy-Boy Furniture. Working in pediatrics allows me
to display my childlike side at work as well as at home when it comes to holiday decorations,” said Kelley. “My sister is an incredible designer and it definitely comes naturally to her. She is extremely creative and always has fabulous ideas.”
No matter your age, a drive to the Means home this fall is a definite necessity. “Each year about mid-September the adults passing by will ask when the skeletons are coming out. During the months of October and December we receive numerous thank-you cards from our neighbors thanking us for making the holiday special for them and their children.”
“This is the reason we do what we do. God has blessed us tremen- dously and we believe that it is so important to give back to others.”