10 years ago, the city officially cancelled its annual Halloween bash in the Castro. But it hasn’t stopped some residents from celebrating the holiday — at least, with their home displays.
Two of the most notable homes in the city for Halloween decor happen to be around the Castro: one in Corona Heights (45 Upper Terrace) and the other down the hill, at 4170 17th St. (between Douglass and Eureka).
In Corona Heights, husbands Wade Joffrion and Greg Price have been decorating their “storybook” home for the past 20 years.
It all started with the Christmas season in 1999. Since then, they've branched out, and now decorate their home for Easter, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day and Halloween.
During the month of October — and for all holidays in which the home is decked out — Joffrion said it's common to see people standing out front at all times of the day to snap pictures.
For Halloween, the home displays ghouls and pumpkins and other artifacts perched on its facade and around the front yard. Every year, the couple add something new to the mix; last year, it was a giant witch.
For the past few years, the home has also featured a "Lost Souls Cemetery,” with tombstones for a cohort of politicians, including President Trump and his adviser Kellyanne Conway.
This year, Joffrion and Price added a tombstone for Senator Mitch McConnell, dubbing him "Moscow Mitch." Joffrion said that they're currently in the process of creating another one for Rudy Giuliani, which he plans to install soon.
Also new this year are "pumpkin trees," which Joffrion said will extend through to the Thanksgiving decor.
You can enjoy the scenery at 45 Upper Terrace during daylight or after dusk. At night, you'll find the windows all lit up, to create the effect of flames coming from the inside of the home.
Over on 17th Street, you'll find an entirely different display created by Castro resident Scott Liapis, whom we interviewed in-depth in 2015.
While the Corona Heights home receives minor adjustments each year, Liapis completely changes his display every season, giving it a different theme.
This year’s theme is “Follow Your Bliss."
From afar, you'll notice a couple of clowns through the main window — kind of spooky, if you're afraid of clowns.
But when you get closer to check out the details, you'll find that one of them has gutted the ringmaster and used his intestines to make balloon animals.
The other clown has cut off the ringmaster’s head and used it to make a jack-in-the-box.
Liapis said that last year, someone complained that his display wasn't gory enough. So this year, he went the extra mile to gross people out.
He said that his themes are always a bit of a self-portrait, since he’s a screenwriter and feels that it is very difficult to make a living as an artist.
He says "Follow Your Bliss" is a metaphor for what every artist goes through, in a funny, gory and ironic way.
“Being an artist is so much hard work," he explained. "You give a lot to get to a certain point. Very few lucky ones are able to make a living out of creating art."
Liapis encourages people to check out the display at night; it's lit from 6:30 p.m. to midnight.
On Halloween night, he always throws a little party outside (and in the garage beneath) for his neighbors, and hands out full-sized candy bars to trick-or-treaters.
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