CASA GRANDE

A web-covered pirate ship anchored beside a skeleton-strewn graveyard welcomes trick-or-treaters when they arrive at Krystal Beldin’s home at 625 E. Vekol Road.

On Halloween night, trick-or-treaters will need to brave their way through the haunted pirate ship to reach the candy treat on the other side.

“We’ll be handing out candy from the captain’s quarters of the ship,” Beldin said. “It’s just a fun way to make Halloween a great experience for everyone.”

Beldin, whose birthday falls in October, loves everything Halloween. For five years, she worked at a Halloween-theme retail store.

This year, she wanted to encourage more people to trick-or-treat and enjoy various decorations and holiday displays throughout the community.

“For this younger generation of kids, going door-to-door on Halloween is a dying tradition. More and more, kids are going to trunk-or-treats or community events and just not trick-or-treating,” she said. “I remember growing up, dressing up and going door-to-door with friends to say hello to our neighbors and get a treat. It was a great chance for people-interaction and just being a kid, enjoying youth.”

While decorating for Halloween has long been one of her favorite holiday traditions, in the past, she has kept her displays simple.

“Normally, we just do graveyard,” she said.

This year, she decided to do more. Thinking her 2-year-old would enjoy a haunted pirate ship-theme, she started by constructing a temporary ship in the driveway.

“I’m a stay-at-home mom now with a 2-year-old and an 8-month-old,” she said. “I enjoy making children smile and letting them enjoy being a kid, so I thought we’d do a little more decorating this year.”

She and her husband, Zach, made most of the decorations themselves, including the gravestones and pirate ship. Beldin spent about two weeks working on the various elements for the display and setting it up. She completed it about two weeks ago.

“We used a lot of pallets and cardboard to create a spooky graveyard,” she said. “Most of the pirate ship is made from cardboard.”

She incorporated lights, fabrics, spider webs, fog and a few other details.

“I didn’t spend very much money,” she said. “It was very low cost.”

To encourage trick-or-treaters from throughout Casa Grande to visit the pirate ship on Halloween, Beldin created a special event page on Facebook, Pirate Night of Trick Or Treating.

“Gather round ye landlubber to join the cap’n and crew on Halloween night, ye must walk passed the spooky grave yard and on to the ghostly pirate ship for some booty from the dead man’s chest. Ye can come on by to check out the display all week,” she wrote on the Facebook event page.

She said she’s ready for plenty of trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.

“I bought three big bags of candy, and I’m hoping that’s enough,” she said.

Trick-or-treaters may arrive at the home and walk through the ship at any point between 6 and 10 p.m. on Halloween night. Drivers are asked to park on the opposite side of the street to avoid blocking the display.

“Trick-or-treating is a great time to get out and visit with your neighbors and get to know people in your community,” Beldin said. “It’s sad that kids don’t trick or treat so much anymore.”

Those wishing to see the decorations may drive by anytime. The lights are generally turned on by 6 p.m. They will be left up for a few days after Halloween.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.

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