I wanted to bring this post back from a few years ago, because despite how Halloween decorations may have evolved since then, nothing touches the creativity of Steve Miller and Tracy Adams’ Baxter Skeletons. The meticulous skeletal scenes (changed daily!!) were masterpieces, created by a mix of artistic talent, attention to detail and wicked wit. I interviewed Steve about the creative process below. I hope this post gets you in the Halloween spirit. – Chelsea
Baxter Skeletons: The Most Creative Halloween Decorations You Will Ever See
(Originally posted 2015) Halloween decorations are insane this year! Entire houses are covered in black & orange lights, inflatable boat-sized lawn figures, gigantic spiders covering entire roofs. I love this spirit, but there is one house in our neighborhood whose decorations are elevated to art-form. They are so creative, so detailed and entertaining that they have captured the attention of The Today Show, MSNBC and every local news station in The Carolinas.
Called the Baxter Skeletons, this wispy-framed family of father, mother, child, cat & dog skeletons (Fang and Scaredy-10) are posed in a different, elaborate scene daily. I pass this house on my jog every day so I’ve been able to see the ornate, complex scenes first hand throughout October.
I am blown away by how clever and fun these displays are that I wanted to share them with you. I spoke with the creator of The Baxter Skeletons, Steve Miller, about his incredible skeleton scenes:
CC: How did you come up with the idea?
Steve: It started last year and just kind of grew. Last year wasn’t nearly as elaborate, but as the fans grew, so did the intricacy of the scenes.
CC: How long does it usually take you to create one scene? When do you find the time?
Steve: Anywhere from 3 1/2 hours to 5 hours. I work at night.
CC: Wow! Do you have a calendar where you plot out your daily scenes?
Steve: I have a scratch notebook and my mind will just race with ideas and I jot them down. There is the base structure of the scene, the details and then deciding how I’m going to re-purpose props & things we have around our home so the details really pop. Like when we did the DJ Scene, we spray painted pizza boxes for the turn tables. Or the scene today where the skeletons are eating breakfast, we customized the labels and used syrup and juice bottles from the house.
CC: Is that a real fridge?
Steve: Yes, for this breakfast scene we rented an appliance hauler and I took the fridge from the garage and put it on our porch.
CC: Do you have any training in this?
Steve: No, but I’m a graphic designer. I had a little experience in the display department at Belk, but it was before college so I was just doing the heavy lifting, not the creative.
CC: Are you taking scene requests?
Steve: Funny you should ask. We had a girl who is a huge fan of the Baxter Skeletons and she told us it would be the best birthday present ever if we would pose the skeletons at a party on her special day. So we did, complete with hats, a cake, games. She even made a birthday card for the skeleton to hold. We were also asked to do a scene depicting a 5k race in the neighborhood to raise awareness for Dravet Syndrome.
CC: That is incredible. What scene are you thinking for tomorrow?
Steve: You will just have to come back and see.
So we did! And it was so cool. Skeletons hangin 10 complete with bathing suits, blue water, & waves made out of spray foam insulation. Camden LOVED it…
Here are a few more of my favorite scenes (can you tell I’m a fan)? I’m like a skeleton groupie.