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A viral Stranger Things Halloween display has caused chaos in Illinois

This couple definitely wins Halloween for the year

Stranger Things - Max Mayfield, portrayed by Sadie Sink. A pale young woman with red hair, she looks into the distance with a confused but intent expression. Image: Netflix
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Halloween is on the way, and the most festive of us are already getting excited for ghosts, ghouls, and other seasonal delights. Audrey and Dave Appel are Halloween enthusiasts, decorating their entire yard with witches, clowns, and most prominently a floating Max Mayfield as depicted in season 4 off Stranger Things. That display has ignited a controversy in their neighborhood, leading to the proposed removal of Max — and we’re only five days into October.

Max has been through her share of trials and tribulations with Eleven, Nancy, Steve, Robin, and the rest of the gang from the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. The floating display, situated in the Appel’s front yard in Plainfield, Illinois, is technically impressive. There are no visible wires or support; it looks like a teenager is being held captive with telekinesis. It’s an attention grabber, which is an impressive feat even when the rest of the yard isn’t full of cobwebs, monsters, and gravestones. TikTok users and Halloween afficinados have come to check the place out, posting videos of their experience. The Appels also maintain their own TikTok account where they share previews and process videos.

The display was covered by Chicago’s CBS affiliate, who toured the set and the elaborate props on display. The Appels said it took 1,500 hours to create the set in their yard, using materials like pool noodles to mimic the creeping rot of the Upside Down. The project began on Aug. 1, and contains more than just the Max prop. Alien, Predator, and Pennywise are all hanging out in the suburban yard, which is littered with classic horror iconography.

The Appels’ display was open for two nights before the couple chose to temporarily close the exhibit. The Appels claim that they have received criticism and accusations from neighbors that they are “bringing negative attention to the neighborhood and endangering children.”

The display in the couples’ cul de sac home drew enormous crowds, bolstered by the viral attention on TikTok and other social media platforms. The Appels intend to meet with local officials to ensure that their display meets safety codes and regulations before they re-open their yard of horrors to the public once again.

On Monday, the couple posted to their Facebook account, writing: “Yesterday, we were planning our tear down. Today, we woke up to a flood of overwhelming support telling us to wait. Talking with the local Police Department, (Other) neighbors, the association, community leaders, we’ve made unreal Progress. Wednesday, Oct 5th is an important day. We are not going to let 1 crazy neighbor ruin the fun for the amazing families and Stranger Things Fans who have visited. Please hold off visiting if you can, we want the dust to settle.”

We’ve reached out to the Appels for comment and will update should we receive a response. The couple intend to provide a final update via TikTok on Wednesday.

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