Halloween, the high holy day of spooky season, has a sort of Spooky Scale that runs the gamut from the casual black cat, full moon, or harmless jack-o’-lantern to the extremes of disembodied corpses, chainsaw massacre enactments or, even scarier, the thought of paying bills every month under the terror of COVID-19.
Local artist Steven Novak finds himself comfortably at the “horrifying” end of the scale, as his East Dallas neighbors and the Dallas Police Department will surely attest.
“I’ve always been up to hijinks like flying ghosts or 7-foot tall snow sculptures of myself, so if I was gonna do Halloween, it was obvious that it should be hyperreal,” Novak says. “No lights, fog machine, or camp … something that would really freak people out walking by in the dark. So I whipped up some dummies and slung 20 gallons of blood all over.”
“I’m most proud of the wheelbarrow tipped over by the street full of Hefty bags, looking like a failed attempt to dispose of the dismembered bodies in the middle of the night.” Novak says. “A kid walked by and asked me what happened to them; I said they ate too many Skittles.”
“It was raining a lot and washing the blood away so I indefatigably ‘watered’ the bodies every morning for a while to the dismay of early dog walkers and joggers saying as they passed ‘Watering the bodies!’”
While some people embrace Halloween hijinks, Novak gives them a bear hug. Only it’s a zombie bear with blood pouring out of its mouth. Novak’s decorations have brought the police to his house multiple times.
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