Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Halloween in Hayfield October 27, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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A doll's head lies next to a tombstone in a Hayfield, Minnesota, yard decorated for Halloween.

A doll’s head lies next to a tombstone in a Hayfield, Minnesota, yard decorated for Halloween.

 

YOU WON’T FIND A SINGLE Halloween decoration in my yard. It’s not that I’m anti-Halloween. It’s just that, without kids at home anymore, I don’t feel the need to decorate. And the trick-or-treaters who stop at my house typically number less than a dozen.

 

 

Looking from the Gargoyle suspended from the Kuster home toward Hayfield's Main Street.

Looking from the Gargoyle suspended from the Kuster home toward Hayfield’s Main Street.

 

But then there’s Brianna Kuster who lives in Hayfield, a Dodge County community of about 1,300. She loves Halloween. So much, in fact, that she and Ryan were married on October 31. Their first of two children, a son, was born on a Friday the 13th.

 

halloween-43-building-exterior

 

Until last Saturday, I’d only been to Hayfield once previously and I’d never met Brianna. But as I was photographing her Halloween adorned home in the former The Herald newspaper office, Brianna opened her front door to let out the dog. I nearly toppled over in fright, not expecting a canine to bound out of a building.

 

halloween-37-house-of-kuster-sign

 

Along Main Street in Hayfield, Brianna and Ryan Kuster have decorated their property for Halloween.

Along Main Street in Hayfield, Brianna and Ryan Kuster have decorated their property for Halloween.

 

halloween-34-pumpkins-skeleton-in-tub

 

Thus my introduction to this young mother who creatively staged her House of Kuster, est. October 31, 2009, property for Halloween. The décor is tastefully done with nothing particularly ghoulish.

 

halloween-29-cemetery-sign

 

halloween-32-tombstones

 

halloween-38-bugs-on-steps

 

There’s a humorous bent and an obvious attention to details. This is kid-friendly.

 

halloween-45-help-on-window

 

That said, Brianna shared how she recently scared a group of students walking by while on a field trip. She simply peered through the curtains. That was enough to get a rise.

 

halloween-flyer-hayfield

 

As we talked, Brianna carried totes of Halloween items to a vehicle for transport to the fire hall a few blocks away. The Hayfield Fire Department is sponsoring a Spook House & Carnival and this Halloween lover was on it.

 

halloween-39-black-cat

 

Before leaving, Brianna invited me into the former newspaper office. There’s no evidence this Main Street building once housed a community newspaper. The Kusters live upstairs and hope to some day finish the lower level, which holds great promise with worn wooden floors. As we stepped inside, a black cat (imagine that) walked through an open doorway. And then I noticed the mini green skulls lining the stairway.

 

On the Kusters' front door...

On the Kusters’ front door…

 

Yup, this is the home of a family (or at least a wife/mother) who loves Halloween. And I expect come October 31, the House of Kuster will draw lots of trick-or-treaters to the Main Street of this small southern Minnesota farming community.

 

When the Kusters purchased the former The Herald building, they also bought the property next door. They tore down the house there. The vacant lot is now the setting for the bulk of the Kusters' Halloween decorations.

When the Kusters purchased the former The Herald building, they also bought the property next door. They tore down the house there. The vacant lot is now the setting for the bulk of the Kusters’ outdoor Halloween decorations.

 

TELL ME: Do you decorate for Halloween or have a neighbor/friend/family member who loves Halloween as much as Brianna Kuster?

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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24 Responses to “Halloween in Hayfield”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    We have a wiener dog skeleton on our deck. That’s it. We only have furry kids and we do not see kids in our neighborhood out trick-or-treating. Red Wing has a trunk-or-treat event downtown. People park their cars on a few streets and hand out candy from their car trunks as kids walk around the streets in their costumes. Safety prompted this event I believe. It is so sad that it has come to this. I recall running around the neighborhood with other kids and there were rarely any issues. Gone are those days it seems.

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    Ummmmmm, nope,……..not my “day”/eve. I may be labeled as a “kill-joy” but………. When the boys were very young, costumes were of the homemade/scrounged up variety. A hobo, military (depending on Dad’s experience….in our case a sailor!), maybe a pumpkin, clown, etc. But the whole idea has taken a turn for the macabre/ghoulish/outrageous along with trivializing the very existence of devils/evil spirits (which disturbs me greatly). I know this sounds “heavy” but, again, we make light of the topic of death in the US and side-step/ignore the inevitable experience we will all encounter with eternity, then, before us. (a bit too “Debbie Downer”????? Sorry, you did ask)

  3. Love your post today and was waiting for a black cat reference and there it was! We took a walk through our neighborhood last night to check out the Halloween decorations and some are pretty creative as well as spooky and scary. I still have no idea where the decorations are in the garage and may have to do some digging Saturday morning. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

  4. Littlesundog Says:

    I think the make-belive/fantasy/dress-up part is a wonderful aspect of Halloween. The rest of it I can do without. My mother-in-law closes up the gates and doesn’t allow trick or treating because she considers it the night of the devil. Since we live behind her place, close to the woods (with no lighting) we are able to silently watch the trick or treat traffic from a distance, and I watch the little ghosts and goblins with their parents or siblings walking up and down the street. There is still something sweet and gentle about trick or treating – we just need to remember not everyone has a twisted sense of darkness.

  5. rebeccamabey Says:

    I smiled at the tombstone that says “It stinks down here!” Never spotted that one before:) Halloween is such fun!

  6. rebeccamabey Says:

    My family is pretty big on Halloween growing up! I remember one Halloween we dressed up as scarecrows and acted floppy with the bowls of candy on our laps and gave some of the older kids a good jump when they came for candy! Especially if they took more than one:)

  7. pkpm519 Says:

    Maybe I have a dark frame of mind. I do like creative Halloween decorations…like those crazy tombstones…but the “help!” banner might be a little too much. In the news each day, we read of people who have been held against their will and try to get that message out in any way they can, so I feel that went a little too far. Loved the rest of the decorations. As I said…maybe my mind is just too dark.
    Loved Dan Traun’s wiener dog skeleton idea! Emily

  8. Jackie Says:

    I usually bribe Gavin to come home and carve a pumpkin, this year I havent even bought the pumpkin. Guess I better get busy. My candy box looks like a coffin, and it makes creepy noises when you open it. When the kids were little I did way more…now, not so much.

  9. Halloween is one holiday that I could pass on. The fall season is a completely different story

  10. Sue Ready Says:

    Need i tell you I fully embrace the holiday:) I love the creativity with decor, foods and activities. But with no children at home nor trick or treaters in my area to my dismay i have had to cut back. But this year is a little different as we are hosting a small dinner party to some adults who do NOT like the holiday. BUT coming to my house they will be forced to embrace all things Halloweenie. What costume will your little one be wearing? .


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