Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 30, 2013

Freaky facades

Many enjoy decorating their homes for Halloween.

TAHLEQUAH — Little ghosts and goblins paying a visit to 402 W. Cherokee Thursday night may be in for a scary surprise, as fog rolls from the porch and they’re greeted by a ghoulish butler holding a tray with a talking skull.

Melody Dudgeon began decorating for Halloween around Oct. 1, and practically every inch of the inside and outside of her home is adorned with a spooky decoration of some sort.

“The butler works on a motion sensor, and both he and the skull speak,” said Dudgeon. “I get started decorating around the first of October. I think it’s fun, and I really enjoy doing it.”

Strands of lights run the length of three porches at the home, along with Chinese lanterns decorated as jack-o’-lanterns. Spider webs, witches and ghosts can be spotted all over the property, as can well over two dozen jack-o’-lanterns.

Some may wonder about the expense involved in such an elaborate display, but Dudgeon is a smart shopper.

“I begin shopping the day after Halloween,” she said. “Everything I have was bought on sale, made at home or purchased at garage sales, except the butler. My boss knows how much I love decorating, and bought the butler for me.”

Dudgeon is also an accomplished gardener, and her yard is teeming with the bright reds, oranges and yellows of fall in her mum displays.

One flowerbed plays host to a strand of goblins that light up.

“My granddaughter made these,” said Dudgeon. “They’re milk jugs with orange lights in them. As it gets darker outside, they really glow a spectacular orange.”

One semi-enclosed porch is home to a picnic table, which is also set in spooky fashion, with spiders on the table, as well as  Halloween-themed place settings. Shelves line the walls of the porch, which hold ceramic witches and other Halloween-related pieces.

“I must have made those ceramics 30 years ago, back when everybody was doing ceramics,” said Dudgeon. “I just pack it away every year to use next year.”

Thursday, Dudgeon will set to work in the early afternoon, getting her fog machine ready.

“We’ll have fog rolling from the front porch, and the butler will be there to greet the kids, and I’ll be playing a CD of spooky Halloween sounds,” she said. “I just love seeing all the little kids dressed up. You can tell they’re a little scared, but still want to get a closer look. The older kids just think the decorations are cool.”

Other local folks scare up some fun

Local resident Patti Gulager also enjoys the fall and Halloween.

“I love Halloween colors,” she said. “They’re so warm. My husband loves the decorations and the spooky, scary stuff, especially the trails and the hay rides. We usually have our hay and spider webs in place. My husband has great masks and costumes.”

Carlye Parks was born on Halloween, and loves everything about spooking others. She and a bunch of her friends recently hosted their seventh incarnation of “Oakwood Alley” at 101 S. Harrison, in the Oakwood Addition near Greenwood Elementary School.

The group builds a structure between the homes, complete with spooky hallways, props and actors dressed in ghoulish attire. This year, they doubled their efforts, and are making the event a fundraiser. To gain entry, trick-or-treaters need merely to bring a canned food item. All donations will be taken to the CARE Food Pantry.

“We’ll be open to all trick-or-treaters,” said Parks. “We are so excited, and hope we have lots of kids attend again this year.”

Pam Moore said she’s not doing much this year, but found a unique way to scare trick-or-treaters in the past.

“I would paint scary faces on the elephant ear plants with glow-in-the-dark paint,” said Moore. “That was fun and pretty scary for the little darlings.”


Text Only
Local News
  • plane-crash-1-a.jpg Plane crash victims recovering

    Two Arkansas men remained in a Tulsa hospital Monday after the plane they were flying crashed into a wooded area in Cookson.
    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the 1946 Ercoupe 415 crashed under “unknown circumstances” about a mile from the Tenkiller Air Park in Cookson Saturday morning.
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 75-year-old John McCreary and 85-year-old Albert Demarco Jr., both of Ozark, Ark., were flown from Cookson to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • walker-terrance.jpg Man taken for blood sample confuses hospital with hotel

    Tahlequah police say an Austin, Texas, man stopped Saturday mistook a local hospital for a hotel when he was taken to have his blood drawn.
    Officer Cory Keele’s affidavit says 20-year-old Terrance Walker was driving south on Muskogee Avenue at about 2 a.m. Saturday, swerving from one line to another.
    Keele tried to stop the car near Muskogee and Chickasaw, and Walker eventually slowed to a stop near South Street.
    Walker opened the car door as Keele approached. The officer said Walker had dilated pupils.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ennis-scottie.jpg Knife-cutting incident lands man in jail

    A Tahlequah man jailed for allegedly cutting a woman with a kitchen knife was released on a recognizance bond Monday.
    Scottie Lee Ennis, 42, was arrested after Officer Austin Yates was sent to Tahlequah City Hospital late Friday night.
    There, Yates spoke with Jennifer Pennell, who had apparently suffered a stab wound to her arm.
    Pennell told Yates she and her husband, Ennis, had gone to Dewain’s Place earlier in the evening, and while at the bar, a man bought her a drink.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • hawley-jeremy.jpg Tahlequah man bonds out after arrest for assault

    A 22-year-old Tahlequah man bonded out of jail Monday after his weekend arrest on domestic assault charges.
    Jeremy Hawley was booked into jail Sunday for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor and interfering with a 911 call.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cherokee Nation law eases restrictions in gaming facilities

    The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council on Monday night voted to reduce regulations in its gaming facilities, but to conform to National Indian Gaming Commission minimum internal control standards.
    The measure ultimately passed 9-7, with District 1 Councilor Joe Byrd abstaining.
    Before discussion, Councilor Lee Keener moved to table the item, saying neither he nor members of the gaming commission had sufficient time to review the act. Councilor Cara Cowan-Watts seconded the motion, with a friendly amendment.

    April 15, 2014

  • Boy again caught with stolen items

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies say a juvenile caught with stolen property several times in the past was recently discovered to have more missing items.
    Deputies took a report over the weekend from a man who said his garage was burglarized while he was away from his home for an extended time. A number of items were taken, including an air compressor, leaf grinder, leaf blower, extension cords, drill-bit kit, a cordless drill, antique tools, a pressure washer, a machete, an aluminum ladder and a butane lighter torch.

    April 15, 2014

  • hughes-james.jpg Muskogee man caught with drugs at casino

    Cherokee Nation marshals arrested a Muskogee man Sunday after he was allegedly caught with drugs at the Cherokee Casino.
    Deputy marshals were called when security at the casino noticed a man drop a bag of a white, crystal-like substance.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tahlequah man charged with hitting vehicle, fleeing

    Prosecutors have formally charged a Tahlequah man accused of hitting another vehicle in downtown Tahlequah and leaving the scene.

    April 15, 2014

  • sp-symposium-Child.jpg Child discusses survival of Native communities

    When Dr. Brenda Child, Ojibwe/Red Lake, tells people she is from the reservation at Red Lake, Minn., she explains, “We’re the ones who didn’t lose our lands.”
    Her tribe’s story is unusual among Native Americans, many of whom have been displaced throughout history. But history is complicated, she said. That’s why, as a historian, she is interested in “the small stor[ies].”
    “I’m someone who can’t really get a grasp of the big picture ... unless I look at the individual stories of people on the ground. How were they living? What shaped their lives?” she asked.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-Symposium-Leeds.jpg Developing food security, sovereignty

    When the Cherokees rebuilt their nation 150 years ago following the Trail of Tears, they immediately went to work re-establishing a government, along with higher education and court systems.
    Stacy Leeds, Cherokee citizen and dean of the College of Law at the University of Arkansas, said that while history reveres the Cherokee judges, scholars and lawmakers of the time, most Cherokee citizens were farmers.
    Leeds gave a presentation Friday about tribal governance, land use, food and agriculture police and economic development during the 42nd annual Symposium of the American Indian at Northeastern State University. The luncheon was hosted by the NSU Chapter of American Indian Students in Science and Engineering, and Leeds offered the AISES students food for thought about where their careers could be going.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge