Queen of Halloween

Published 8:59 am Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spiders began creeping their way across Leann and Maurice Langley’s home in Alabaster this summer.

They didn’t bother to brush them down, though.

The Langley’s home is now covered in spiders, webs, crows, bats, ghouls and goblins, and even a Zultan.

“I have this Halloween addiction, so I decorate way too much and give the neighbors a headache,” Langley said.

Husband Maurice knows where it all began.

“Her aunt would give them Halloween presents every year. Now, it just feeds itself because we’re out shopping and what do we see: something that would go perfect on this table or great with this decoration,” Maurice said.

Leann’s aunt, Glenda Kilgore, sparked Leann’s addiction by giving her ceramic Halloween gifts every year. She’d give gifts at Easter and Christmas too, but for whatever reason Halloween stuck with Leann.

Leann takes particular care of these items. Despite being moved up and down from the attic for a decade, she still possesses a two–foot tall ceramic ghost Kilgore gave her about 35 years ago.

“When you collect all those ceramic decorations, after a while you want to show them off,” Leann said.

Show them off, she does.

The Langley’s entertain more than 300 trick–or–treaters every October. That’s not counting the adults that come trailing in behind their kids, just to see the pageantry of the Langley’s home.

They said many of the kids started swarming their door years ago. They only give candy to kids under the age of 12, though, because they want it to be special for the little ones.

“Its such a great opportunity to let children have a true Halloween experience,” Maurice said. “So few kids really get to have the Halloween experience we all did as kids.”

The Langley’s greet the kids at the door and move them through to the dining room, where more than 100 bags of candy overflow off the table.

“The ones that have been here before you don’t even have to greet, they know exactly where to go and what the rules are,” Leann said.

Sharing the holiday with that many kids requires a team of more than two–dozen friends and family members who dress up and help keep the trick–or–treators flowing through.

“Not only do the kids come back every year, but the friends and relatives do too because its their chance to be a kid again,” Maurice said.

The Langley’s begin pulling down all the décor in August. They begin buying candy – one bag, every time they visit the grocery store – in July.

“When my friends call and ask, ‘What are you doing,’ I say, ‘I’m playing Halloween,’” Leann said.