Featured photo: The pumpkin king towers over a front lawn in Greensboro at the corner of Walker and Scott Avenues. Photos by Carolyn de Berry, James Douglas and Jasmines Gaines

Every year on Halloween, my childhood friends and I had to stop at what we called the “blow up” house, a house that put up at least a dozen inflatable ghosts, monsters and vampires twice as tall as we were around their lawn. Rumor had it that the man who lived there worked for a company that supplied the inflatable decorations and that was why they had so many, and different ones every year.

Decorations have always been one of my favorite parts about Halloween. Being an introvert, I was never thrilled about the idea of walking up to strange houses and asking their inhabitants for candy, but the cackling witches and leering scarecrows on some of those lawns always made me smile.

Now an adult, I continue to look forward to Halloween decorations as the leaves change and the air turns crisp. Last year, my then-roommate and I walked by the houses on our block and rated them for creativity, spookiness and the sheer amount of decorations the owners managed to cram into their yard. My favorite had a plethora, each section of their porch boasting different spooky creatures. The scariest by far were the clowns, but the dolls gave them a run for their money.

The houses brought a little bit of joy to what was then the seventh month of the pandemic. This year, aside from Spooky Woods and Max Carter’s haunted New Garden Cemetery tour, I’m most excited this year to see the Triad’s best decorated Halloween houses.

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