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Wilsonville family pulls out all the stops during October and especially on Halloween

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - The Summers family pose in front of their home along SW Orchard Drive in Wilsonville. Pictured from left; Maverick, 13, eighth grader at Wood Middle School, Leia, 8, third grader at Boones Ferry Primary, Jeremy, father, and Skyla, 16, junior at Wilsonville High School.

Throughout October — when it is covered with tombstones, skulls, pumpkins, spiders and webs — Jeremy and Michelle Summers' home in the Morey's Landing neighborhood of Wilsonville transforms from an unassuming single-family residence into a menacing spectacle.

Then, when the sun goes down on Halloween night, a UFO enters the equation and music blares — it's one of the spookiest parties in town.

"The house is alive on Halloween night," Jeremy said. "And you can see it on the faces of everybody that comes up to this house."

The Summers' home is known around the neighborhood as the "Halloween House" because they pull out all the stops to make it a fun occasion for the youth of Wilsonville and their parents.

"We start hearing the hooting and hollering of the cars passing by because Halloween is coming. Our house kind of brings the 'Oh, Halloween is here.' That's kind of neat," Jeremy said.

The Summers family moved to Wilsonville in 2007 and began their extravagant decorations around the time their 13-year-old, Maverick, was old enough to appreciate the Halloween spirit.

They've added new wrinkles over the years, like music and dancing, and more people have shown up over time.

The pair put on the spectacle for different reasons: Jeremy is a self-described entertainer, while Michelle likes the creative outlet.

Jeremy usually wears an eye-catching costume — last year he was a demonic gorilla with eight-foot arms and giant feet; this year he will dress up as a man inside a cage with a large monster holding him from behind. He alternates between dancing with the costumed-children and acting out his Halloween character. And his oldest daughter, Skyla, who is on the Wilsonville High dance team, sometimes helps him with his dance routines.

"I love the attention, because I get to see the smiles on the kids and, more importantly for me, the parents' faces. The parents are super excited to watch their kids come up and interact with me," Jeremy said.

Michelle, for her part, handles most of the decorations, some of which she makes herself. Then on Halloween night, she passes out candy while her parents take her children trick-or-treating. She also organizes the music requests from neighbors prior to the night.

"She (Michelle) has this way of seeing things that we don't see. She can see the finished product, and I don't see it until it's done," Jeremy said.

They also enlist their neighbor to help set up the flying UFOs, which are remote controlled and swing between multiple houses. And they bring out a fog machine to add to the ambience.

On years when the weather is good, Jeremy says they attract as many as 500 people to the event.

"I just think that participating in Halloween, the way we have done in the last 10 years, it's been a great way to be a part of the community," Jeremy said.

The Summers' youngest daughter, Leia, described Halloween as "the most magical day of the year."

"I don't know if they know any different because it's just always been what we've done," Michelle said. "They think it's weird when people don't like Halloween."

But, for the Summers family, the festivities don't end on Nov. 1. Jeremy says their Christmas decorations are even more impressive.

"Dec. 1 it all goes up. It's so Christmas-y when you come into our neighborhood," he said.


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