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Carolyn Scallan, dressed as the “Bride of Frankenstein,” stands beside a giant inflatable black cat in a photo from a recent Halloween. She is “scaling back” this year and retiring the giant inflatables and many other decorations to a storage shed. This costume is particularly appropriate for this year as Carolyn got married for real on Oct. 20.

Carolyn Scallan downsizing ‘Halloween House’

After 46 years, Plaucheville tradition 'retires'

Generations of Avoyelles Parish children have grown up expecting to be scared, thrilled and treated at Halloween by Carolyn Scallan’s “Halloween house” in Plaucheville.

This year the traditional holiday display will be significantly scaled down. Carolyn is “retiring” as one of the parish’s best known Halloween exhibitions. “I have always done Halloween,” Carolyn said. “For 46 years we always did something special. Of course, 46 years ago they didn’t have mechanical monsters and big inflatable decorations.”

She and friends would dress in costumes and give trick-or-treaters a little scare, in the spirit of the holiday.

“About 15 years ago I started buying lights and inflatable decorations,” she said. “I just added to my collection each year.”

Last year she realized the time had come to “downsize” her holiday spirit. “I will close in my carport and have my mechanicals on display,” Carolyn said. “There’s two werewolves, four witches, a scarecrow and a wooden coffin with a corpse that comes to life.”

She said she will still be involved in the fun, dressing up and handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.

But the several giant inflatables will be spending Halloween in their storage bags in a large shed -- all clean and ready to be inflated for a future holiday.

“I had intended to sell them this year, but I got busy,” she said.

Those more-pressing duties include getting married on Oct. 20 and harvesting pecans from the 40 trees on her property.

One of the many costumes she has collected over the years is the “Bride of Frankenstein,” but a few days prior to the wedding she said she wasn’t going to press the costume into service for her nuptials.

“I don’t think the priest would appreciate it,” she said with a laugh. “I did have several people ask if they could come to the wedding in Halloween costumes, but I said no.”

She said she plans to sell the inflatable decorations next year.

Word has gotten out that Carolyn is getting out of the Halloween business.

“I’ve gotten a lot of calls,” she said. “The children tell me, ‘Miss Carolyn, you’ve got to do Halloween.’ I tell them I will still celebrate Halloween, but on a much smaller scale.”

Carolyn said the mechanicals “make so much noise, you don’t want to run them much more than Halloween night.”

However, she said if parents want to bring their children over to see the decorations at 734 Hwy 1181, “call first so I can make sure everything is turned on for them.”

Her phone number is 359-2814. It might also be a good time to thank her for the hard work and love of children she has shown over the past 46 years of “doing Halloween.”

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