Halloween decorations a scream
It's scary how much candy Mary Connor gives to trick-or-treaters every Halloween.
Last year, about 500 people stopped by her home on West D Street in Newton to get their hands on one of Connor's famous candy bags.
"I make good, fat bags," Connor said with a laugh. "The kids love them."
Connor bought 125 bags of candy to prepare for this year's treat bags, and she won't stop at that.
Her bedroom is filled in anticipation of Halloween with piles of candy, from lollipops and candy bars to chewy candy and chocolate.
Connor stuffs candy pieces into her treat bags and hands out the goodies to trick-or-treaters.
"I'll buy more candy before it's all over," Connor said adding that she will celebrate Halloween this year on Saturday night.
Connor's fat candy bags are what keep children coming back to her house each year, but what draws in new trick-or-treaters is Connor's Halloween decorations.
In her yard, she has several inflatable Halloween displays, including a headless horsemen, a pumpkin patch and a giant ghost. Strands of spider-web lights hang from her front porch, and other Halloween decorations line the steps into her home.
Even the burnt-orange Chevrolet HHR parked in Connor's driveway screams Halloween.
"That's the great pumpkin," she said.
Connor started decorating her Newton home about five years ago. Seeing children and their families enjoy the holiday always makes her smile, she said.
Connor's 10-year-old son was killed almost 20 years ago when he was struck by a van as he crossed the street. Connor said watching children go trick-or-treating reminds her of her son and the grandchildren she could've had.
The Halloween visitors, however, bring her joy.
"It's just having fun and watching all the kids go by," Connor said.
Another Newton resident, Lynn Jenkins, has decorated her home for the past 10 years. This year, however, Jenkins' decorations aren't as elaborate.
"This year, it was just too expensive," she said.
Jenkins previously turned her backyard into a haunted Halloween maze for her children, their friends and the neighborhood to enjoy.
"It was safer for us to do the entertainment here," Jenkins said. "I knew the candy was safe, and I knew the kids were safe."
Jenkins' yard is decorated this year with strings of lights, fake buzzards and even a skeleton dressed in clothes named Billy Bob Jr.
"More light and other decorations are available now than they were 10 years ago," she said. "I'm a die-hard decorator at Christmas."
Although Jenkins' children are grown, she said Halloween, like Christmas, is a time to express creativity through decorations.
"Halloween is the one day of the year that's just about adventure and fun," Jenkins said.