Veronica Nunez stands in her yard at her house on South Monroe, next to decorations. She has decorated her yard for the past 10 years for the children on her block. (Jill McLaughlin Photo)
One gravestone reads, “Here lies Les Moore, Shot with a .44. No Les. No Moore.” Two bloodshot eyeballs poke through the surrounding dirt.
Across the pathway, a pumpkin-headed man sits at a check-in desk. He holds a shovel and a pen, eagerly waiting for guests to sign his guest book.
“Everybody asks me about all the graves. I tell them, they’re all my ex-husbands,” Veronica Nunez joked. “I tell them, I’m still waiting for the next one!”
[auth] Nunez’s ghoulishly decorated yard is surrounded by a few humble homes on a short street. But while South Monroe Avenue may be modest in size, Nunez helps the spirit of Halloween loom large over it every year.
Visitors have to muster the courage to step over the grave of one man whose legs are strewn across the path to her door.
Near the street, another site depicts a buried entity holding a hammer.
“He was a contractor who did the wrong job, so I buried him,” Nunez said, laughing. “The first time we did him, I had nightmares about him all night.”
Nunez has stories to tell about each character.
“I love to decorate for everything, especially for Christmas” she said. “I go all the way out.”
The 62-year-old born and raised Roswell resident first began decorating her home 10 years ago.
Since she began, the others on her small block have started getting into the spirit. Her next-door neighbor has spider webs draped across the porch.
Vehicles pass often at night, when Nunez lights up her yard, and they ask to take photos, she said.
“My little one likes to decorate too,” she said.
Across the street, her nephew’s three small children visit every day to see her and check out the yard in anticipation of Halloween night.
“They are so crazy over this stuff. They look forward to it,” Nunez said. “They can hardly wait. I do it mostly for the kids.”
But she admits she also gets into the spirit.
“I always get dressed up, too,” she said. “You name it, I’ve been it.”
She waits until Halloween night. All of the neighborhood kids, most of whom are family, call her “T.” (A nickname for auntie.)
“All these are my kids,” she said. “This neighborhood takes care of everybody. We’re all like family.
“I would never move from here, unless I join one of my exes,” she laughed, and pointed to the yard.