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Giant spider south of Hastings is Norma Berens' creation

Norma Berens created this giant spider outside her home in part to celebrate the Halloween season.

If you like spiders, take a drive down Highway 61 south of Hastings. Just a few miles out of town, there's a prize of a spider poised at the side of the road. Its body is about six feet long and its legs reach out about as far as a car is long.

It's the creation of Norma Berens, and although it might look frightening in the dark, it's entirely harmless. The body is made of two 55-gallon drums, and plastic flex tubing make the legs. Berens set the giant spider up in the front of her yard along the road to help celebrate Halloween.

It's not her first large-scale decoration.

"I've always tried to make something out of nothing," Berens said.

Berens has been making large crafts for about seven years, since she had the opportunity to decorate a Bible camp at St. Joseph's church in Miesville. She's also done a Spooky School event and decorates for her sister's annual Halloween party in Duluth. The past four years, not including this year, she's decorated for the high school's all-night graduation party, creating such elaborate items as a 16-foot-long limousine and a helicopter with working rotors for one party with a James Bond theme.

"It's always been big - on a larger scale," Berens said of her creations.

She got the idea for her spider two years ago. Her husband and son had welded the two drums together to make a smoker, but the project never worked out and Berens got an idea.

"I saw a spider body out of it," she said.

Since Tuesday, the spider has been lit with a red spotlight at night to help it stand out. The spider will stay on display until about a week after Halloween.