Last Halloween, a crew of dread pirate skeletons commandeered the Canby home of Scott and Stephanie Anderson. They’re back this year, but with a new wrinkle: They now have to defend themselves from an invasion of undead warriors from hell.
“Last year, the theme was just that the pirates were taking over the house,” explains Scott Anderson, a local business owner as well as an accomplished magician, who has performed on stages around the world and has even been featured on reality competition shows such as America’s Got Talent and Wizard Wars.
“And now this year, the pirates have had to band together because a skeleton army from hell, led by a giant, is coming.”
As Scott puts it, even the pirates got screwed by 2020.
It started with the pirate ship. Stephanie saw the set on display at Home Depot in 2019 and thought it belonged at 522 NW 14th Ave.
“I saw it and really liked it,” she says. “Then we thought, ‘Let’s add this, and then this,’ and it just kept going from there.”
They had just installed the pirate ship last year, Scott says, when they saw a neighbor around the block had replaced his fence and was giving away the old boards. They were soon transformed into a “dock” that replaced the front walkway at “Anderson Cove.”
The dock necessitated a naval-themed entryway, and on it went.
They’ve pulled out all the stops this year. Their display includes pirate shanties playing on speakers, holograms, a cannon Scott made from PVC pipe that blasts real smoke, animatronics, a crow’s nest on the roof, lights and more. The entire second floor of the Andersons’ house is rigged to look like it’s on fire.
There are lots of fun, little details you only notice on close examination, including the undead mermaid and “sea” of skeleton fish that you can’t really see except from the dock.
The pirate captain, safely ensconced on the Andersons’ front porch, is decked out in the tuxedo jacket Scott wore for his first magic show over 20 years ago.
The display is not meant to be scary — a point Stephanie has to impress upon her husband at times (the splintered, “blood”-drenched sign over the front porch, reading “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” was his idea).
“I don’t want it to be scary,” she says. “I want it to be fun. And with everything that’s been going on in the world right now, I just want people to come by and smile.”
The Andersons are the kind of folks who lean into the holidays — and not just the one that happens on Oct. 31.
“We have seven Christmas trees every year,” Stephanie says. “So, Christmas explodes in here as well. And there’s always glitter: From October to January, glitter everywhere.”
With the coronavirus still an ongoing concern — and with health authorities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discouraging traditional celebrations like door-to-door trick-or-treating, indoor parties and haunted houses — it’s likely we will see many homeowners stepping up their decoration games this year.
“I know our neighborhood — everybody I’ve talked to wants to do Halloween,” Stephanie says. “I’m curious to see what starts popping up.”
The Andersons definitely invite people to come check out the “Cove” this year, and are hoping to set up areas where people can do photos if they’d like. Though many of the elements are in place, the display doesn’t officially start until Oct. 1.
One more bit of news: Anderson revealed that he and his daughter, Hailey, recently returned from filming for a new, “star-studded television show,” which will air in the coming months. Stay tuned for details.
The Canby Current and CanbyFirst.com wants to feature more local homeowners who are pulling out all the stops for the Halloween season this year. If you’d like to have us out for a visit, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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