A Frightful Clown on Royce Court
By Monique Gaudin
The spirited Post family on Royce Court, in Las Vegas, will be using their annual Halloween party and trick or treat night, as vehicle to collect needed supplies the local animal shelter. “Last year after the trick-or-treaters, where we dressed up and had a lot of fun to scaring the kids, we decided we’ve always supported our friends who have kids that have asked us to donate to various school charities and Girl Scout cookies, so I thought what about us non-breeders who don’t have kids. We’ve always liked animals so we decided this year to do something for our fur babies, so were collecting money and supplies for the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society says, Shannon Post, a 42 year old, administrative assistant in the Registrars’ office at the Henderson branch of the College of Southern Nevada.
Shannon and Richard ignite the moth of mischief and mayhem, with a child-like enthusiasm, as others tackle Christmas. No longer is it just a race to get the first decoration up, it now also has become a “sharing” of gore. The “rearrangements,“ of decorations started last year when they launched the first decoration and taunted us all in a text stating “We were first.” Ron and Tracy who lives next door to them texted them back declaring themselves the winner. “Ron had crawled under the bushes and taken the stuff from our yard and put it in his yard “This year Shannon claims that: “Ron started it again by stealing your Mummy, and putting it at our front door. “ As the receiver of a midnight scare a few weeks ago, when a skeleton suddenly was hanging on my door at midnight when I took the dogs out, I suspect the “house of gore” and it’s inhabitants, are more, guilty, than framed.
When, Shannon and Richard Post moved in eight years ago, as soon as the first Halloween decorations hit our front yard, there was an explosion of gore that erupted on their lawn diagonally across the street. Since then, it has become a neighborhood tradition of smack-talking, mummy relocating, one-upmanship. As Shannon herself notes, “It is totally amusing, we don’t have kids and yet we tend to be the ones that go overboard”.
Although her husband Richard is completely in the mix, along with their neighbors Ron and Tracey, who do have kids egging them on, it appears that Shannon, who has been “doing “ Halloween, since childhood, is the true ringleader, on that side of the street.
Born in Riverside, California, growing up mostly in Southern California she says: “We used to throw Halloween parties growing up. We always had the graveyard in the front. It was funny because in Covina, no one decorated for Halloween. We always made our own tombstones, it was a total DIY (do it yourself). Just get in there and do it. It started spreading down the street, and it got really big for a while.”
Travis Jolley, one of her buddies from Covina reflects on Facebook about the parties they had then; “…all the drunks doing the time warp in the front yard and you and that freaky ass doll head from beauty school”. Shannon volleyed back with: “I always thought dolls were creepy and used my doll head because I wanted something more “life like” in my front yard” Judging from the responses solicited from her friend on Facebook, a gory, good time was in the forefront of the annual event.
Leaving the parties and a bad break up behind, Shannon moved to Las Vegas in 1997 to live with her grandparents. She worked her way through the College of Southern Nevada, while pursuing her first, of three degrees, and has never left. Two years after marrying her 2nd husband Richard, they bought the house in August 2004, providing Shannon with an excuse to rekindle, and expand upon, the creepy doll head obsession, and an party at Halloween. Keeping with tradition, the tombstones still fill the lawn, but the doll head now lives with other doll parts, scattered among zombie babies in a pop-up tent, in the corner of her living room. “I wanted to do a creepy doll collage on the wall, but for now they will keep the babies company. It’s wrong. It’s creepy. But as you get reactions from people, even if a gasp! It’s a good reaction.”
When asking about the eerie display of zombie babies, doll pats and razor blades she explained: “The first year we were in the house we’re out buying Halloween decorations. We really didn’t have as much as we have now, because we were in apartments. They had like this hillbilly set up with the first baby. I always wanted a bar with a trailer trash theme. So, the first one was an impulse buy, because the white trash thing. The baby doesn’t do much, but it was this little red looking zombie.” From there, “It evolved on its own. In 10 years it will probably overtake the room and I’ll have to add a nursery or something.” This year’s addition is an evil, stabbing itself, teddy bear. “You know when you look at him that’s just so wrong I had to have it. Because if I think it’s wrong, it would freak people out. It was so wrong, it was right, and it fit along with my babies.”
Wrong indeed. As you tour the house, you encounter razor blades, dead rats and spider webs, intentionally created to creep you out as you walk into them. Amidst the blood dripping walls and bugs in the light fixtures, the cats casually stroll through the mix. Apparently the only thing the cats don’t like, are the zombie babies when they are on. The unsettling array of horror is not what one would expect from a student of psychology… or is it?
“You can be creeped out by something, but you know it’s not real and is not really to hurt you. There is enough of that stuff out there that is really, really scaring me. Honestly, the politicians are scarier to me than the crap that I have for my decorations.”
Motion activated displays accompanied by fog, lights and sound, has brought an increasing number of families to the street, coming by to take their costume clad little ones pictures, in the grave yards, or posed with the evil clown. People start stopping by the street early in October asking when all the decorations will be up. When it occurred to us last year that the street was becoming legendary, Shannon mentioned we should turn the evil-fun spectacle, into a force for good, so this year she has. For the annual Post party this coming Saturday October 27, 2012, she has requested that people bring pet food, pet supplies, old blankets, or toys, if they don’t feel comfortable donating money, as all the items can be use that at the shelter. “A lot of these shelters are nonprofits so they’re working hand mouth trying to get as much as they can to save as many animals, and we wanted to support a no kill shelter because every animal deserves a home. If we can help one animal that it’s a success.” There will also be a donation box on the driveway, for any trick-or-treaters who feel they would like to share in the spirit of saving critters.
As Shannon says; “There’s enough horror in the real world.” So it will be “a pleasant side effect, “ as she calls it, if by creating a frightful place, safety, food, and treatments can come to lost, discarded, and abused animals. It appears that the clown of fright is a fraud. She has been hiding behind her tombstones of disturbed abnormality, waiting to save the world’s animals, one “fur-baby” at a time.