A Tooele City couple has again created a Halloween scene at their home and are sharing it with the public.
About 10 years ago, Eddie and Shellie Plute adorned their yard with extravagant decorations in the fall to fit the Halloween spirit. That turned out to be the start of an annual tradition.
They’ve had a haunted western town, a ghost pirate ship, and this year it’s a freak show.
An eye turning circus freak show, along with a few side-show acts and several large clowns, consume most of their small front yard.
But don’t allow the size of their yard to fool you. Their “circus” contains hundreds of decorations, most of which were carefully thought out and handmade by Eddie, with Shellie’s help — of course.
“I make everything by hand, ” said Eddie. “Believe it or not, most of the things I buy come from the junk store. I go to the DI and I buy stuff that costs three or four dollars and I fix it up. I get my inspiration from the internet a lot of the time but I make it my own.”
Shellie hands a lot of the creative credit to Eddie.
“He has an imagination,” she said. “He really does makes it his own.”
Many of the objects the couple have created stem from real life experiences.
One in particular is “Crazy Doc Ott.” Eddie came up with the idea after visiting a doctor when he was sick. The skeleton doctor, which can be seen inside of the circus tent, is wearing the doctor’s real lab coat.
“I made this prop for my doctor,” Eddie said. “He kind of fixed me up and put me back on the road again when I was sick. I told him that one day I was going to make a prop out of him. He’s a really good guy and we are hoping he will come out and see our freak show this year and his prop.”
In previous years, The Plutes had a larger than life pirate ship. It was so tall that it could be seen several blocks away. This was especially the case at night when all of the lights were on. The pirate ship, with many different pirates, along with a ghost town in their backyard, took several years to construct.
The Plutes add many new decorations each year.
“Last year was our best year with the pirate ship,” Shellie said. “We had around 10,000 people visit. I would say we had 100 to 150 people in our yard at any given time. There was a line of people all the way down our street and even someone directing traffic.”
In years prior, one of the community’s favorite things about the walkthrough was the live mermaid who visited on occasion. This year, the Plutes plan on her return.
They also have a few other surprises in store.
This year Eddie and Shellie have no idea how many people will visit their walkthrough, but they are hoping that the turnout will be as good as previous years.
“This year is sort of an experiment,” Eddie said. “We aren’t sure how many people will visit because this is the first year we have done this sort of thing.”
They have had clowns before, according to Shellie.
“We did do one clown room last year in the backyard and everyone loved it,” she said. “It was pretty fun. We are hoping people’s fear of clowns do not keep them away.”
Why do they put on a show for the community every year?
“If you come down to visit, you’ll see why we do what we do,” Shellie said. “The people who come to see it really are a blast.”
This year’s freak show is rated by the Plutes as mildly scary, meaning that it is family friendly but younger children may be frightened.
The circus freak show and all of the Plute’s work can be seen at 854 Oquirrh Avenue in Tooele any Friday or Saturday night or on Halloween night throughout the month of October, weather permitting.
The freak show is open from 6-10 p.m. and is free to attend. Although free, the Plutes have placed a donation box at the end of the walkthrough to help defray the expenses of creating the Halloween attraction and the electric bill for lighting it up.
“We love doing this,” Shelley said. “It’s our favorite thing to do each year and has become a sort of hobby for us. We hope that many people come out and see it!”