Massive Halloween display returning

Pelham resident Jim Phillips' yard off David Drive is filled with everything from giant spiders to life-size talking figurines. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham residents Jim Phillips and Tony Palma are working to put the final touches on what has become one of the largest Halloween displays in Shelby County.

The neighbors, who live on David Drive off Bearden Road, have been lighting up their neighborhood for about eight years with everything from inflatable, walk-through haunted houses to spooky graveyards.

“We should have most of it out on Thursday (Oct. 25), but we won’t put some of the bigger stuff out until the night before Halloween,” Phillips said.

Once complete, Phillips’ yard will be filled with ghostly ghouls, animated horror movie characters, giant spiders and much more. Across the street, Palma’s house is complete with yard decorations and a full walk-through maze and haunted house in his garage, which will be open to guests on Halloween night.

Phillips and Palma add to their displays every year by hitting stores in search of deals during the days after Halloween. Because they usually purchase the new decorations and store them until the next Halloween, there are always surprises when they start decorating.

“I know I’ve got a life-size Frankenstein that’s new, but I actually forgot I had it until I took it out a few days ago,” Phillips said with a laugh. “There’s always some stuff I forget about until I start taking it out.”

Last year, between 350-400 kids visited the two neighbors on Halloween night, marking the largest crowd the two have seen on All Hallows Eve.

“I usually give each kid about three or four pieces of candy. I bought 800 pieces of candy last year, and actually ran out by the end of the night and had to borrow some from my neighbor,” Phillips said.

Phillips said the younger trick-or-treaters usually start arriving shortly before sunset, and the older visitors typically come until about 11 p.m.