In Clovis, Deb and Terry Toews decorate their entire front yard every year. In their garage, a quintet made up of animated skeletons also entertains trick-or-treaters who stop by. Deb Toews said her fascination with Halloween began about 12 years ago. The first purchase was a ghost they call Elizabeth. "I saw it and just thought I had to have it in the front yard so it started with Elizabeth. It's obviously grown to what it is today. And every year it's a little bit different," said Toews.
While their display could be considered extreme, other homes throughout Fresno are also decorated with plenty of scary scenes. The National Retail Federation predicts Halloween spending will be up this year and Americans will spend more than $6.8 billion dollars on Halloween costumes, decorations, and candy.
Fresno State Marketing professor Dr. Bill Rice said Halloween spending is in large part psychological. "Part of it is people trying to escape from the economic woes and let's go have a party night and take on a different persona. The other side is we have a lot of stress and we can release a lot of that by seeing something unusual or something that really rattles our brain," said Rice.
Back in Clovis, the Toews declined to disclose how much money they spend on their annual Halloween decorations. To them, it's all about providing family fun.