Never too much, say Halloween fans collecting thousands of decorations

Never too much, say Halloween fans collecting thousands of decorations
Halloween enthusiasts said ‘you can never have too much’ (Leeann Austin/PA)
Leeann Austin

Halloween enthusiasts have said “you can never have too much” as they fill their properties with thousands of spooky decorations.

Leeann and Will Austin, who manage the Radstock Hotel in Somerset, spent 29 hours displaying more than 1,000 Halloween decorations across the hotel’s bar, dining and pool rooms.

Some of their displays are 8ft tall while others come to life with animatronics, which attract plenty of visitors every year.

Halloween decorationsLee and Linda Morris have collected Halloween decorations for five years (Lee Morris/PA)

Ms Austin, 55, told the PA news agency she has been collecting Halloween decorations for more than 23 years and said October 31 is her favourite time of the year.

“I love (Halloween), it takes a long time and it’s tiring, but I absolutely love it,” she said.

“I’ve been collecting (decorations) for 23 years. I have got rid of some bits and bought some new bits this year. But the reaction has been wonderful and people love it.”

The couple have been displaying an assortment of Halloween figures, trinkets and ornaments for nearly a decade, after they used to run a pub before managing the Radstock Hotel.

“We had a pub for seven years in Paulton and we did it there every year,” she said.

“We’ve been (at the Radstock for) two years and this is our second year doing it.”

The hotel manager has involved her children and grandchildren, who are also Halloween fans, by creating decorations of them.

She explained: “I’ve got four children and 10 grandchildren and they all absolutely love it.

“I used to papier mache their heads and arms and made like scary faces out of papier mache things.”

Jack in the box Halloween figureLeeann Austin and her husband, Will, have decorated their hotel with animatronic figurines reaching 8ft (Leeann Austi/PA)

Ms Austin was inspired after her father used arts and crafts around the house during her youth.

“I grew up with that sort of thing. We were always dressing up and (my dad) was an artist as well so he’d do lots of drawings and make things,” she said.

Mr Austin said that the decorations have already frightened some children, but said it helps to attract customers.

“We scared a couple of kids and we’ve been busy all week. We’re busy every year because people know what we do,” he said.

Meanwhile Lee Morris, 52, and Linda Morris, 59, from Eltham, south east London, who annually decorate their entire home and garden, said seeing their family’s faces is “priceless”.

Mr and Mrs Morris said “you can never have too much” after they decorated their house from floor to ceiling with Halloween banners, ornaments and life-size cut-outs of famous scary characters such as Pennywise.

Pictures show their kitchen cabinets and fridge plastered with red and white tape that reads “Danger! Keep Out!” while their garden has displays of plastic gravestones to mimic a cemetery.

Mr Morris told PA: “Our motto when designing for Halloween and Christmas is ‘you can never have too much’ and that is the same with attention.”

IHalloween decorationsLeeann Austin used more than 1,000 decorations at the hotel she manages with her husband (Leeann Austin/PA)

The couple have been collecting decorations for five years, but said the “bug really took hold” about two years ago.

“We are a big Christmas house so starting early for Halloween and adding the same magic seemed a natural progression,” Mr Morris said.

“Being able to use our creative flair with no limit or boundaries, with a large and close family it gives them a sense of surprise every time they visit and the looks on their faces is priceless.”

Mr Morris and his family love horror films, which inspired them to start decorating the whole house for Halloween memorabilia for the entirety of October.

“From an early age we have always enjoyed horror films. This love of these films has made it a natural progression to turn our home into our own Halloween house across October,” he said.

Halloween bannersLee and Linda Morris’s home is filled with banners and ornaments to celebrate Halloween (Lee Morris)

The couple said they regularly attend car boot sales, visit charity shops and browse Facebook Marketplace to find of decorations.

“We work on zones of ghosts, pumpkins, skeletons, clowns, horror and gothic to channel our buying across the 12 months,” Mr Morris said.

The couple said they have become “experts” at rearranging and storing away their decorations.

Mr Morris said: “We have become experts at jenga and manage to always find a little bit of extra space to fill.”

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