Haunting Houses

H alloween’s tomorrow, but the only decorations among the houses of University Place, a wider-than-long horseshoe looping off Elm Street, are a couple of smallish pumpkins.

Perhaps it’s because these houses don’t need decorating. 

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One home already looks like the phantasmagoric “alive” kind, its beige skin, peeling badly, tattooed in dried-blood red with potentially nefarious glyphs. A rich purple house with aqua detailing—like polka dots over windows and a candy stick trim—could be a deceptively happy-looking witch’s den, designed to lure children to their doom. A yellow house sporting zany Burtonesque (as in, Tim Burton) dimensions, replete with a narrow tower, could be the refuge of some scary-seeming (but really quite harmless) misfit. Even the more normal-looking homes on the block have strange details or funky paint jobs.

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Of course, even the most innocent stuff can plunge us into a state of fear this time of year. It’s just that, on University Place, it’s particularly easy to get there.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. To view the email version, with uncropped, uncompressed photos including a few extras, click here.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories, helped in no small part by a small team of dedicated contributors.

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