Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus


Photo: Milana Ilickovic

Ron and Sharon Passmore’s countless decorations sit in their yard for everyone to enjoy. The display had been added to over the years to create what is now a neighborhood attraction. “I think the community is just coming to enjoy it, if we don’t do it, they’re gonna wonder where it’s at,” Sharon Passmore said.

Milana Ilickovic and Audrey Stepp

‘Cause this is thriller night, with a local twist.

The Halloween season is a special time of year for the community, and there are many interesting places to go and ways to celebrate.

The characters and costume-clad kids roam the dark. The upcoming generation commences the ceremonious ritual of trick-or-treating, and it is a beauty to behold. Louisville is rich with Halloween traditions and autumn festivities. When we are brought together to celebrate and find something we can all enjoy, our community becomes stronger. 

The Halloween spirit thrives on the passionate souls that participate in celebrations of the holiday. Many feel that nothing makes this more memorable than those that go all-in to dress up or decorate. Witnessing the local landscape at the home of Ron and Sharon Passmore is a prime example. They can’t resist their annual opportunity to showcase their massive collection of spooky decor right on their lawn. “My parents decorated as a kid and it just seems to have stuck with me and I like to see the faces of the kids,” Sharon Passmore said. The Passmore home is much more than a display of decorations, it is considered an attraction to many in the surrounding area. “We love it when they come by,” Ron Passmore said. The yard emits vast lighting while displaying interactive movement, animation and characters.  

The Passmores make it look easy, but there are risks and costs involved. The effort and commitment of the decorating process have taken their toll physically on Sharon Passmore, causing injury to her arm and leg. “Just spending time with the neighbors that help…since Sharon broke her leg, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law live right across the street, they came over to help, and a couple of neighbors pitched in when Sharon went down,” Ron Passmore said. The help is greatly appreciated and makes all the effort worthwhile, according to the Passmores.

The connection created by their Halloween tradition is undeniable. “I think the community is just coming to enjoy it, if we don’t do it, they’re gonna wonder where it’s at,” Passmore said. She is dedicated and uses much of her time to make their house something special for the season.

“Sharon makes a lot of this stuff, she made all the tombstones, the columns to the cemetery, the boat, she makes a lot of this. There’s stuff in the basement that she didn’t finish for this year, that’ll go out next year. We’ll continue to add to it that’s for sure,” Ron Passmore said. From a flying witch to a 12-foot mummy, these extravagant decorations accumulate over time with new ones being bought or hand-made each year.

Their biggest concern through all of this is the struggle of storage. “It only takes a few days to set up but finding a place to store it, like that fence you see out there, Sharon made the fence, it’s just finding room to store it all,” Ron Passmore said. This display is an eye-catcher and draws a crowd, but it didn’t start that way. 

“We used to not get that many people, ’cause we’re only one house off the main drive, but since we started decorating, a lot more people come to look at the decorations,” Ron Passmore said. Each Oct. 31, children will run from door to door, but those that come across the Passmore’s home are in for a special treat. “Sharon is never gonna quit Halloween. As long as we live here,” Ron Passmore said. 

As autumn creeps in, seasonal favorites reveal themselves only to disappear as the wind gets colder. The passing of time is noticeable when Spirit Halloween opens its doors. Spirit Halloween is a popular costume and decor retailer only open for the Halloween season. Locations are found across Kentucky, including Shelbyville Road, Dixie Highway, and Linn Station Road. Spirit Halloween offers a vast assortment of countless choices of costumes and accessories for all Halloween fanatics, as this store is dedicated to Halloween only.

“We’re owned by Spencer’s, so we offer a lot of things that Spencer’s has like on the adult variety,” Spirit Halloween employee Carol Manero said. Because they are owned by a much bigger company, they can provide customers with the latest and most popular costumes. “So I would say compared to Party City, we have more licensing. Like we have Stranger Things, Monster High…we have licenses to companies to sell their merchandise,” Manero said. This chain is important because of the unique experiences it offers right when you walk through the door.

“People definitely come in to see what we have and all the animatronics,” Spirit Halloween employee Chris Fox said. Being able to create memories is what makes an impact on the younger kids in the store. “There are definitely a lot of little kids who will come in and just know the name of every animatronic. They are like religious Spirit Halloween fans. Like not even Halloween, just Spirit Halloween. They come in just to look at the animatronics and they can name all of them…they’re just fans of the company, which is cool I guess,” Manero said. 

Pop culture has a major influence on the most-sold costumes of the year at the store. “The Chrissy cheerleader outfit from Stranger Things, and Eddie Munson…I know we’ve sold out of all that,” Manero said.

Other popular places to go include business and school events throughout our community. Bullitt East celebrates a very loved event that is fun for the whole family, Halloween in the Halls. “Halloween in the Halls is one of the best ways in my opinion to bring families together and get excited for Halloween with a fun way,” sophomore Jude Russelburg said.

Halloween in the Halls allows kids to trick or treat in a safe environment, through the themed and decorated halls of the school. Themes are designated for the different hallways in the school each year, with students dressed as characters to fit these themes. “I love the themes we have for this year so far it has been very fun to decorate for ‘A Bug’s Life’ and classic Halloween and I’m excited to see what they look like when we are done,” Russelburg said.

It is a great way to get involved in the community and meet new people. “I am probably most excited about meeting all the little kids coming through and giving them candy it is just really fun,” Russelburg said. Halloween in the Halls will take place on Oct. 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Bullitt East. 

Boo at the Zoo is another wildly popular, family-friendly celebration of Halloween. “Boo at the Zoo gives children a cheerful and age-appropriate setting to meet new people, experience the important parts of Halloween, and most importantly get candy,” sophomore Kyra Armstrong said. Kids can walk through the zoo and grab candy from some of their favorite characters located in different parts of the zoo. “You get an easy chance to connect with complete strangers, through even a simple gesture such as ‘I like your costume’. You now have the chance to make a new best friend,” Armstrong said. Dates for Boo at the Zoo are offered throughout the month of October, and an allergy-friendly night is scheduled for Oct. 20.

At Bullitt East, students are in the mood for the approaching holiday and shared their favorite Halloween-themed movies of 2022. The list includes “Silence of the Lambs”, “Sinister 2”, “Hocus Pocus”, “Hocus Pocus 2”, “Scream”, “Krampus”, “House of 1000 Corpses”, “Halloween Ends!”, and “The Craft”.

These spooky times can be seen differently by all. A common theme is that most people can find something exciting in the air of the season. “Making your costume is the funnest part of Halloween by far, just the freedom that comes with making a Halloween costume or just a mask is so much fun,” Russelburg said.

Seeing costumes really shows the Halloween spirit. “It brings everyone together to just celebrate a night of fun for everyone whether that be at a party or just going door to door asking for candy you can always have something to do and I think that just makes everyone happy,” Russelburg said. It is a reason to try and experience new things while setting aside complete seriousness. “It allows for everyone to put their physical differences up on the top shelf for a little while, and instead being able to connect with other people through light-hearted fun and getting candy,” Armstrong said.