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Cottonwood Heights Man Indulges His Dark Side with Custom Halloween Decorations

Nov 05, 2015 02:45PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Brian Jones

When Scott Winberg was young, his mother would often find him in the basement watching scary television programs such as “Dark Shadows,” “Tales From The Dark Side” and “The Twilight Zone.” 

“I’d watch as much of that stuff as I could get,” he said. “My mom was constantly telling me to stop.” Judging by the decorations that now adorn his home every October, it’s obvious his sensibilities haven’t changed now that he’s an adult. Winberg, who hand crafts the majority of his Halloween décor, has amassed an impressive collection of dark items over the years, and his home has become a destination of sorts for drive-by visitors looking for impressive decorations in Cottonwood Heights this time of year.       

When he became serious about his Halloween decorating around 10 years ago, Winberg started at the store, purchasing prefabricated items. He quickly discovered, though, that the quality and durability of store-bought decorations was inadequate for what he had in mind, so he began making his own creations. 

If you happen by Winberg’s house now, you’re unlikely to see inflatable Halloween snow globes or Jack Skellington holograms projected onto the garage door. The mood he’s going for is decidedly more macabre. Once he became the means of production, he was finally able to fully indulge that dark side his mother discovered so many years before. Winberg’s decorations of choice to honor All Hallows Eve feature haunting ghouls escaping graves, horned skeletons frozen in perpetual screams and an undead creature being eternally roasted on a hand-made spit. 

Winberg makes his creations from materials such as medical anatomical skeletons, stretched and ripped pantyhose and industrial carpet adhesive. His dark works of art became so popular that for a time he ran a website where he sold his hand-crafted items, and although he ultimately gave up making decorations for others, he has continued making the creatures that haunt his home every October. 

Winberg says he usually starts decorating around the first of the month. “If it was up to me, I’d put them up earlier in the year, but my wife makes me wait till October,” he said. 

Although it’s definitely more his passion than his wife’s, after all these years it’s become somewhat of a family tradition. Winberg’s 9-year-old son has even gotten in on the act, making one of the productions that currently sits on the family’s front porch. The family does decorate for other holidays, he said, although nothing rivals the lengths to which they go for Halloween. 

“We decorate for Christmas, but mostly it’s just lights for the house,” he said. Judging by the ghoulish way it turns out when Winberg goes all out, that may be for the best. 

Despite the grisly imagery of his creations, Winberg says it’s all done in good fun. He plans on continuing to do it for years to come and hopefully pass the tradition on to the next generation. 

“It’s just something fun I’ve been doing for a long time,” he said, “and people in the neighborhood seem to enjoy it.”