Gourds, ghouls and goblins take to Kalamazoo neighborhood

Posted at 10:41 PM, Oct 28, 2015

KALAMAZOO, Mich.--We're just a few days until the ghouls and goblins and other Halloween creatures start lurking around West Michigan. One place they're sure to feel at home is lighting up the night in Kalamazoo.

On the corner of Mt. Olivet and Onondaga Avenue on the northeast side of Kalamazoo you'll find a spooky display that have neighbors talking.

It all started six years ago, when a handyman and an artist, mixed their talents together to create a forest of floating pumpkins and it was all inspired by a little bit of magic.

"It came from the Harry Potter movies. They had the Halloween festival dinner in the hall where they have floating pumpkins, so we decided to see if we can do this," said Tod Estes, the man behind the magic.

With some waterproof glue, paper, Christmas bulbs, styrofoam, and electric cords, the scene of Harry Potter has come to life.

"It's become a part of Halloween," Estes said.

It's a Halloween tradition Tod Estes is taking time to perfect.

Estes says it all started 6 years ago, with 4 lines and 20 lanterns. Now, his yard is filled with 83 paper mache lanterns floating in mid-air.

"We've gotten better at it over the years. It's a fair amount of fun to make them and put them up, we get a good response," Estes said.

He says it wouldn't be possible without his girlfriend Julie, she's the artist behind the faces and the paper mache design.

Tod says it takes him about two weeks to bring the pumpkins to life, adding that each pumpkin takes over a week to create.

"Everybody likes them, a lot of people stop and take pictures, we've gotten some cards in the mail. Now that we've done it, people expect us to do it," He said.
He says they plan to do it again next year, but aren't looking to expand.

"This is about as many as we can handle, then the yard gets pretty crowded," Estes said.

The display will be up throughout Halloween weekend.