By Larry O’Reilly
I’ve always loved Halloween, so when I discovered that Department 56 had come out with a Halloween village, I knew I wanted to start collecting it. As my collection grew, I tried different ways of displaying my pieces, but was never satisfied with how they turned out. It always seemed like something was missing. Having experience with model trains, I decided to create a landscaped platform for my pieces to be displayed on. As it turns out, that was exactly what was missing. The platform took my village to an entirely new level. I really enjoyed my new hobby of creating displays for my village that was growing bigger and bigger.
It was suggested that I turn my hobby into a part time business by selling my displays to other collectors. With the help of my sister Pat, we started our website. After several years, the business is really going well and I’m very excited about our future. We not only sell displays for Halloween, but other holidays as well.
Just about all of our displays features hand carved cobblestone pathways, staircases and stone/brick walls. On average we use four Hot Wire tools to carve our displays, but if the display has a stream, lake, or mountains, then we use a few more tools.Cauldron’s Court is our most popular displays. Not only are the cobblestone pathways and sidewalks hand carved, but so are the cobblestone areas that the buildings sit on. The hand carved stone wall behind the cemetery makes as great backdrop for the graves, and the graves are actually carved out of the display which is a wonderful feature.
We created our Final Scream Amusement Park displays because we really liked the rides that Department 56 and Lemax has made. We wanted to have curving stone walls and curving cobblestone pathways just like in a real amusement park. Of course the carousel is the main focal point.
Farms have really gotten into the Halloween spirit, and our Haunted Harvest Farm tries to capture that. We cut groves in the area for the corn stalks to fit into which gives the display a great look. We also cut holes in the display so that the wiring for the accessories can be hidden. Since Department 56 came out with their train station, we wanted to do something that would show how great it would be to ride an old haunted train. This was our section display we made with hills/cliffs which we carved by hand, paint, and tinted. I really like how it has turned out. We try to make them look as real as possible.