As It Happens

Florida man charms the neighbours with front-yard skeleton scenes

Bob Jarabek's family is new on the block. But they already feel a strong connection to their neighbours thanks to the elaborate Halloween decorations they put up in their front yard each day.

Bob Jarabek says his new neighbours love his family's daily Halloween decorations

Bob Jarabek and his family just moved to Wesley Chapel, Florida. But he already knows most of his neighbourhoods because of the elaborate Halloween decorations he put up in his front-yard. (Submitted by Samantha Campagnano)
Listen6:10

Skeletons aren't supposed to be uplifting. But a group of them is raising the spirits of a community in Florida.

The community is called Wesley Chapel and the bones in question have taken up residence in the yard of some new arrivals to the neighborhood — Bob Jarabek and his husband Bill.

"It's just been such a fantastic, fun event for everyone that has been involved," Jarabek told As It Happens host Carol Off.

Every day, the mischievous skeletons get up to something new. The situations range from the mundane to the outrageous. And for the big night, Jarabek is cooking up something extra special — with some help from his priest.

"Tonight, I have three nuns trick or treating with an orange pumpkin basket. The nuns' outfits were loaned to me from my family priest, who came up with idea."

Jarabek rarely plans the displays ahead of time. He says the inspiration for each design springs from everyday items he finds around the house.

"I've only purchased two items throughout the month, which was a tent for one of the displays and then a pinata for another display. Otherwise, everything is right out of my pantry, garage — wherever I find it."

Jarabek says the inspiration for his skeleton designs comes from the everyday items he finds in his house. (Submitted by Samantha Campagnano)

Some of his favourite designs are a skeleton pushing a wheelbarrow filled with tulips and a little inflatable skeleton learning to ride a tricycle, which Jarabek says he made for his two-year-old son. 

Other popular displays included a Dancing with the Stars theme, a fashion police design and one dubbed "Laundry Day"  where Jarabek used potato chip clips instead of clothespins.

Jarabek says his son particularly liked the Dancing with the Stars theme. 

"He was out there dancing, saying, 'One, two, cha-cha-cha, one, two, cha-cha-cha!'"

Jarabek and his family only moved into the community in September. But he says the creative displays have been getting "rave reviews" and helped him connect with his new neighbours.

"They've been loving it. There was a block party about a week and a half ago."

Jarabek is thrilled that the displays have gone viral online. But it's the reaction from other families in his neighbourhood and the sense of community the skeletons have created that gives him the most joy.

"In the end, when the skeletons are gone, I'm going to be left with that great energy that I get from the neighbours." Jarabek said. "That's the payback."

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