Forty-five skeletons call Julie Palmer’s Green Park resident home and more join the party each year.
Palmer, a human resources and management professor at Webster University, began collecting and showing off the plastic skeletons five years ago, adding more to her front yard display each year. She said she has added more in the last two years because she “just doesn’t know when to say no.”
The yard features 36 small skeletons and nine life-size ones, each a part of a scene. Scenes can include fishing, barbecuing or playing sports. Palmer’s favorite setup is a pair of mechanic skeletons working on a Barbie car on her driveway. She chose skeletons as a main focus because they have a “cuteness factor,” as opposed to the goriness of zombies or other Halloween monsters.
Each skeleton is complete with clothing or other props and the setup is a weekend affair. She said she will buy decorations and clothes from nearby yard sales so people can walk by and see their old items on display.
“When my sister flies out it takes us probably 30 hours (to set up),” Palmer said. “You’ve got to dress everything and buy little things — this year I decided a lot of the small skeletons needed pacifiers. The clothes fade and have to be replaced every year.”
She said the cleanup is fortunately a lot faster — only taking about five hours.
Palmer is a triathlete and invited friends from the St. Louis Tri Club to help her set up and put certain decorations on the roof.
Next year she hopes to add a 12-foot tall skeleton as a centerpiece for the graveyard portion of the yard.