Kimberly and Andrew Adkins from Springdale, Ohio just north of Cincinnati, have been scaring the living daylights out of their neighbors for seven years. Their Halloween display is a frightening collection of monsters called up from nightmarish movie favorites. Chuckie, Jason, Freddie Krueger and a host of zombies and undead ghoulies loiter in the Adkins’ front yard. They present a spooky drive-by Halloween experience, but you’re welcome to step out of your car and take pictures if you dare.
On weekends the Adkins offer a nighttime monster spectacle with colorful spotlights, ghostly music and a lingering fog. But beware, while those Halloween monsters are creepy during the day, at night, they are truly frightening.
Not Just Ghouling Around
The Adkins’ monsters bring a touch of Halloween fun and fantasy to the neighborhood, but they also have an important mission. They are ghostly ambassadors drawing attention to a cause that’s very close to home. Kimberly Adkins suffers from Gastroparesis, a rare and debilitating digestive disorder where stomach muscles don’t function the way they should. Her ordeal with the disease inspired her to found the Gastroparesis Awareness Campaign Organization, a national initiative that hopes to “Spread GP awareness one person at a time.”
Look up on the Adkins’ roof and you’ll see a ghoul standing watch over a sign that says “I scare you to ask about Gastroparesis.” Another sign stands among the monsters on the ground; but don’t be afraid to get close enough to read it. Pinhead and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre guy are just trying to draw your attention to the National GP Awareness Walk.
The Monster Mastermind
Andrew Adkins is the artisan behind the family Halloween monster show. He’s relied on years of creative monster-making and penny pinching to bring the family Halloween fantasy to life. Andrew scans local Halloween stores for masks suited to his display. It’s a waiting game to get the best monster mask for the best price, which often means purchasing items after the annual Halloween costume rush. He usually puts away his new monster finds for the following year.
It’s the same foraging process for monster clothing as well. He won’t dare pay the asking price for a stripped sweater a-la Freddie Krueger. He simply searches, watches and waits until he finds the perfect item at the right price.
Andrew’s Monster Making Secrets
Arranging his front yard Halloween display is a time consuming process that begins each September when Andrew retrieves his collection of monster bodies and heads from storage. He stuffs new monster heads then adds “blood” and other extra ghoulish touches. He follows a gradual process of carefully placing each monster in its position of honor. he also lays out a pattern of spotlights, headstones, body parts and yellow and black police “do not cross” tape to make it oh so real.
Ask Andrew and he might share his monster making secrets. He used a special part to make a cool chainsaw for his “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” guy. He developed his own methods for keeping his monsters standing straight and tall. He has a secret weapon for getting all that stuffing to stay inside a monster’s head. He uses all his monster making secrets and years of experience to craft a perfect Halloween fantasy that brings awareness to Gastroparesis.
Help for Kimberly, Andrew and the Monsters
The Adkins and their monsters aren’t alone in their quest for Gastroparesis awareness. Actor, Alan Alda and baseball Hall of Famer, “Duke” Snider, have signed on in support of the GP awareness campaign. Kimberly has a wall filled with framed photos and best wishes from John Travolta, Pat Sajack and many other stars. Her organization has a long list of corporate sponsors.
A number of states have issued proclamations in support of GP Awareness. Vice President Biden and President, Barack Obama, have sent Kimberly personal letters of support. The President’s letter spoke of new government grants dedicated to research into rare diseases such as Gastroparesis. A number of people and organizations have joined the Adkins in their quest; and Andrew’s monsters are doing their part each Halloween.
When to see the Monsters
You can see Kimberly and Andrew Adkins’ monster fantasy in Springdale, Ohio, north of Cincinnati. They are on Glen Sharon Road, off Sharon Rd. and just past the Route 4 intersection. The display is easy to spot if you’re traveling west on Sharon Rd.
The monsters will be waiting for you in the Adkins’ front yard all day and into the night; but monsters do get tired, so Andrew turns off the lights around 11:00. He returns his monsters to storage the day after Halloween.
For Gastroparesis patient information, donations information and more about Kimberly’s organization, see the website: Gastroparesisawareness.com.
Kimberly and Andrew Adkins