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Getting into the spirit: Display is Hastings man's way of keeping the holiday alive

Hundreds of Halloween decorations make Dewy Dreyer's home really stand out in the fall.

When Duane "Dewy" Dreyer was a kid, he always looked forward to seeing everyone's homes lit up and decorated for Halloween. Now that he's an adult, he misses seeing those decorations. Most people put out a pumpkin or two, he said, and that's about it.

"I don't see a lot of Halloween anymore," he said.

That's why every year, he outdoes himself in decorating his home for the holiday. The house is hard to miss, located at the corner of Fifth and Spring streets, with hundreds of decorations and lights set up all around the yard.

Dreyer rents the house from Michael and Mary Wise, and thanked them for allowing him to put up all his decorations. The house is well-suited to it, he said.

There are skeletons, ghosts on the porch roof, gravestones, witches, a Halloween tree, giant spider web, and pumpkins.

There are plastic pumpkin baskets anchored around the edges of the yard - about 75 of them, he estimated. There are also real pumpkins on display closer to the house, which he grew at his mother's home in Bemidji. His friends help him decorate the pumpkins, and some of them will be given away to the kids when it's all done.

Rather than simply buying decorations and putting them out, Dreyer does his best to be a little creative along the way. A row of skulls got sets of red eyes when he replaced some of the bulbs on a string of white lights with red ones.

It's all Dreyer's way of trying to keep the spirit of the holiday alive for the kids. He loves seeing neighborhood kids walk by and smile at the visual feast he's laid out.

"For me, it's the enjoyment I see in the kids," he said.

The display has been growing for the past three years. The first year he handed out candy to about 20 kids on Halloween. Last year that number grew to about 120 kids and 100 bags of candy.

"And this year I'm sure I'll need even more," he said.