Angela Swartz/Daily Journal
Walt Worthge in front of his greatly decorated home on Avila Road in San Mateo.
For the past 15 years, one house on the corner of Avila Road and El Camino Real in San Mateo has stuck out like a sore thumb around this time of year and that’s because of its elaborate Halloween decorations.
Giant pumpkin heads, attached to long black legs, are about 15 feet tall and can move up, down, back and forth in the Baywood neighborhood. They are the babies of San Mateo resident Walt Worthge. Spiders and spider webs also adorn the front lawn of the blue house.
“I decorate every year,” said Worthge, who has lived in San Mateo for 28 years. “I don’t think the kids would like it if I didn’t.”
Worthge, a contractor who runs his own company called Knight Construction, said he drew about 1,500 trick-or-treaters last year. Some even came out from Hayward to check out his decorations.
“It’s kind of become a destination spot,” he said. “The police said there are about 4,000 people on the block for Halloween. They block off the street for us.”
In past years, Worthge has built a funnel spider nest to cover the lawn, a huge dragon and black widow spider pumpkins.
“I sit out front around August and think what the heck am I going to do this year?” he said.
This year’s creations are made out of landscaping fabric, wood and stucco wire. He began building them on his own about six to eight weeks ago.
Once Halloween rolls around, he’ll bring out music, smoke machines and black lights to complete his festive decorations.
Worthge likes to keep it kid friendly though.
“I don’t do gory,” said the father of two sons.
He even wanted to expand his decorations into the street with a bigger spider draping over the street, but the city’s Department of Public Works said it was a safety issue. There is still a ghost that Worthge put up high above the street.
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