Central New York, Community, Feature

Camillus Decorator Continues Halloween Tradition

A look inside the Halloween decorating tradition of Camillus resident Bill Hendrix.

By Mike Drew CAMILLUS, N.Y. (NCC News) — With Halloween less than a week away,¬†people are ramping up the process of decorating their homes. In Camillus, Bill Hendrix is ready to show off his house for the 16th consecutive year.

“We’ve probably spent a good $20,000 on our decorations over the years,” Hendrix said.

Hendrix and his wife, Mickie, have watched their kids grow up and leave home. Despite not having them around anymore, their grandchildren push them to keep the decorating tradition going.

There’s another reason too.

“Livens up the village, you know?,” Hendrix said. “People don’t decorate anymore. It’s kind of sad.”

This year, Hendrix’s yard features over 30 monsters, many of them life-size, including:

It also has an eight-foot tall spinning blood wheel that Hendrix built himself. “It used to run on water,” Hendrix said. “I just made it red food coloring to make it look like blood.”

Hendrix’s home holds three families. John Farnham has lived¬†in the downstairs apartment for nine years and has never complained about the elaborate decorations. In fact, no one ever does.

“People stop, take pictures or come up the driveway and like to take pictures,” Farnham said. “Nobody complains. Everybody’s out here admiring the view.”

Hendrix said he will be moving to Florida in the next two years. He said he’s lost patience for getting through cold winters. He’s also 64 years old and can’t keep up as well with the physical demands of moving objects out of storage like he once could.

Hendrix knows it will soon be time to go, but realizes what he’ll miss.

“The reaction on the kids’ faces,” he said. “I think they (the kids) will miss it the most.”

Farnham will be sad to see the Hendrix family go. “People should come out and see the house while they can,” he said.

Hendrix said he sees about 200 trick-or-treaters come to the house every year. This year, he expects more because of the media coverage the house has received in recent weeks.

A conversation with Bill Hendrix, the man responsible for the Halloween decorations at 84 Main Street in Camillus. (c) 2016 Mike Drew

A look at the spinning blood wheel, the most recent addition to Hendrix's display. (c) 2016 Mike Drew

One of the many life-size Halloween figures showcased in Hendrix's yard. (c) 2016 Mike Drew