Albert Lea man enjoys decorating for Halloween holiday

Published 10:00 pm Monday, October 30, 2017

For nearly a decade, Tom Sosebee Jr. has been decorating his yard for Halloween. What started out as a few white painted crosses in the front yard has evolved into a small world of its own. Now his yard is filled with inflatables, a zombie graveyard, life-sized dummies, a fog machine and motion-activated props.

“I moved here seven years ago to help my mom take care of my father,” he said. “Halloween came and they didn’t really have any decorations. So I started out with little white crosses and made up some names to go on them. Since then, I’ve been adding on new things and it has grown every year.”

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Sosebee said he likes to do it for all of the children who come by and check out his setup on Halloween night. But, he also has another factor pushing him to keep doing it. Sosebee’s nephew, Tim, who has autism, enjoys watching the spectacle his uncle puts on every year.

He said if he put up all of his displays at once it would take him around three days to get everything in place. However, he takes a different approach to setting up his decorations.

“I like to set things out just a few pieces at a time,” Sosebee said. “Even the mailman always asks, ‘When are you going to start putting up your Halloween stuff?’ so I like to set out a few things every day leading up to Halloween so it gives them something new to look at every day.”

All of the props Sosebee uses are bought within the Albert Lea community. He said he’s bought things from Walmart and Home Depot, but his go-to store is the dollar store.

“You wouldn’t believe how much of the stuff out here is just from the local dollar store,” he said. “Sometimes I just buy things that aren’t even Halloween decorations and put them together with something else to make it spooky.”

Every year Sosebee makes up treat bags mixed with an assortment of candy to hand out to the children who visit him and his mother on Halloween. He said they usually make about 125 bags and are rarely left with much extra.

On top of the treats, he likes to add an occasional trick. Sosebee has been known to dress up when answering the door and even hide disguised as one of the many dummies in the yard. In the end, he said it’s all in good fun and the children really seem to enjoy it.

Tom Sosebee Jr.

Age: 63

Address: Garden Road, Albert Lea

Livelihood: Retired military

Family: Mother, Barbara

Interesting fact: Sosebee likes to have fun in life. “I look at life like I have to get through it, but I have to have fun at the same time. We all have trials and tribulations, but no matter how bad things get, there still has to be some fun in it.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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