AUSTIN (KXAN) — South Austin resident Jody Gautier has always considered herself a Halloween connoisseur. It’s a love she’s since passed along to her children, and one that has enthralled the Shady Hollow neighborhood for the past decade.
Each October, Gautier and her family construct Halloween displays from scratch, rotating themes and always adding a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor to match. This year’s display, depicting a shark attack, was born out of her children’s obsession with Shark Week.
“We just thought, ‘we have a fairly decent sized front yard, so let’s start doing some stuff to help bring in the Halloween spirit every year,” she said. “We get more creative every year as we’ve gone. So it’s just been a fun thing for the family to do as a group.”
Some past favorites include a rodeo display with a bull, a pirate ship, and a baseball game, Gautier said. Plans for the following year’s display begins months in advance, while construction on key pieces — like this year’s shark — begins a month or two before October.
As the Gautiers begin decorating their front yard, she said neighbors often stop by and ask about this Halloween’s theme. In the days leading up to Halloween, she said families often stop by with children in tow to take pictures and walk around the scene.
“It’s always just been a fun thing for the neighborhood to see and have around,” she said, smiling. “We always get positive feedback on all of them.”