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Monday, October 29, 2007
Keep Milwaukie weird
Once upon a time there was a house in NW Portland. Every year around this time the exterior would be covered from basement to roof in Halloween decorations. It was as if the owners had cleared out the holiday sections of every Fred Meyers from Vancouver to Springfield. The windows were lined with purple lights, the yard was filled with Styrofoam graves and they even had a "Crash Landing Witch" attached to the chimney. Then one October I drove by and there was nary a plastic ghost to be found. The owners had either moved, lost interest or maybe even turned their attention towards obsessive cookie jar collecting.
It was a shame because elaborate Halloween yard displays are rare in Portland. The holiday doesn't pull enough weight around this town to earn itself a Peacock Lane but at least the residents of a certain house out in Milwaukie are willing to pick up the slack.
The Davises have been decorating their yard every Halloween for years now with an elaborate graveyard display. An animated grave digger lingers on the lawn alongside dozens of tombstones. Next to the house there's a two-story mausoleum with a projected ghost that darts around the second floor. A bust near the front gate tells jokes beside a driveway filled with grim reapers and corpses rotting in cages. A skeleton-driven hearse greets commuters flying down SE Johnson Creek Blvd. While I didn't get a chance to see it during a recent visit, a ghostly entity supposedly walks out of the front door with the aid of a video projector.
It's well worth checking out and it beats the pants off anything that'll be rolled out on Peacock Lane this December, if only for the Doc Brown tombstone (hooray for Back to the Future references). Does Peacock Lane ever host zombie dance teams? Nope.
The Davis Graveyard can found at 8703 SE 43rd Ave.