October is an important month for Sammamish’s haunters, residents who go all out for Halloween. For Suzanne McIntyre, winner of the Sammamish Independent’s Halloween Decor competition, planning starts as early as spring.
McIntyre, 49, has been a Sammamish resident for four years. She has already made a name for herself in the Hampton Woods neighborhood as a haunter, with neighbors eager to see her annual display.
“In August I get people walking by and going, ‘We can’t wait to see what you’re going to put up this year,’” she said.
McIntyre also mentioned that her family flies out from around the country just to see her display.
This year her theme was Sleepy Hollow. She spent around 20 to 30 hours doing everything from collecting materials during the summer to setting up her display during the fall. She dedicated particular attention to her showpiece, the Headless Horseman, spending time searching for a mannequin and authentic outfit that matched the story perfectly.
“He was my pride and joy this year,” McIntyre said.
McIntyre’s hard work was well received by the community. She gave out candy to over 300 trick-or-treaters and even had to bring out her backup supply.
“My neighbor across the street said she now had to buy twice as much candy because of me,” she said.
McIntyre says she loves seeing everyone’s reactions and talking to her neighbors about her display. She’s lent and even given away props just to help get people in the spirit. Next year, she’s hoping to make her display more participatory by allowing everyone to add something of their own.
“I just love Halloween because it’s a holiday for everybody,” McIntyre said.