The spookiest house on the block
Trick-or-treaters rounding the corner of Ash Avenue in Kenai oooh and ahhh as a 12-foot skeleton comes into view. On either side of the bony behemoth, inflatable Halloween characters sway in the stormy wind, set against a backdrop of orange and purple lights.
Lupine Orlob is dressed as Maleficent, the witch from Sleeping Beauty. On Sunday night, she’s passing out candy from beneath a small tent outside her house, flanked by what might be the most spirited set of decorations on the block.
"You totally made our Halloween!" yell a gaggle of trick-or-treaters.
"Oh, thank you so much," Orlob shouts back. "That's my favorite part. That's why I do it."
Orlob has been doing Halloween for years.
"And I just get bigger and better every year and I have no intention of stopping," she said.
She said it’s the reactions from trick-or-treaters that keeps her motivated to go all out with the decorations.
"Honestly, when the kids run around the corner and say, ‘This is the one I was telling you about!' That excitement, that's why I'm out here," she said. "That's why I stay out here."
Orlob's yard is covered in inflatable tombstones and jack-o-lanterns, plus larger-than-life versions of characters from her favorite Halloween movies. A blow-up dragon peers down at trick-or-treaters from the roof and blinking, light-up eyes peek out from the car window.
Orlob changes her set-up every year, with the goal of making each year spookier and more festive than the last.
“My 12-foot skeleton is my favorite this year and he’s actually going to stay up for Christmas and decorate a Christmas tree," she said.
Aside from the skeleton, all good things must come to an end. Orlob doesn’t waste time taking her decorations down.
“Tomorrow," she said. "Here’s the thing — the snow comes and the ice comes and it will literally ruin everything.”
She’s not messing around with the candy, either. Each trick-or-treater gets a full goody bag.
“When you have this big of a display, you have to come through with the candy, too," she said, laughing. "So you get a full-sized Fun Dip, lollipops and a Sour Patch Kid that’s three times the size of a normal one.”
Now, she can start preparing for next year. Only 364 days left.