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Something scary
Halloween comes to life in miniature
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Photo by BOB McCLURE
Virginia Lydon of St. Petersburg sits next to a section of her Halloween Spooktacular miniature display at Lake Seminole Square. The free display is open to the public through Oct. 31.
SEMINOLE – There’s something scary going on at Lake Seminole Square and Virginia Lydon wouldn’t have it any other way.

Local residents may remember it was Lydon who last year at Christmas put together a miniature holiday display that spanned three condominiums.

This time, Lydon has decided to get a little spookier with a very creative Halloween display that takes up one full second-floor condo at Lake Seminole Square.

It features everything from a haunted farm to a gruesome cemetery with an eyeball tree, to a creative torture chamber. There also are haunted pirates, a ghoul school, lots of witches flying around and a very interesting Halloween candy dish for visitors to try. You name it, it’s there.

What’s better, it’s free and open to the public Wednesdays and Saturdays, 1 to 3 p.m.; and Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 to 8 p.m., through Oct. 31. Group tours are available by calling 888-657-6616 in advance.

Putting it all together took Lydon about two months, she said.

“It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle,” she said. “It starts with a big pile of boxes. Once you get all the boxes open, you arrange them.

“It’s all fun,” she added. “It’s work but it’s fun if you enjoy doing it.”

Lydon definitely enjoys it.

She and close friend Cheryl Swartsel of Holiday work each year on the display, along with Lydon’s two sons. One son, David Lydon, travels from Providence, R.I., to help his mom put all the electrical works together, while her other son, Father Michael Lydon, a Catholic priest in New Port Richey, helps with other details.

Lydon said most of her many artifacts came from local merchants like Skip’s Florist and Christmas House in Holiday and Robert’s Christmas Wonderland in Clearwater.

Thanks to a long-term relationship with Andrea Sieradzki, the senior director of sales and marketing at Lake Seminole Square, Lydon has had a space at an area senior residence for about a decade to show off her holiday creativity. Prior to Lake Seminole Square, she worked with Sieradzki to use space at the Palms of Largo, The Fountains of Largo and the Deaf Service Center.

“It started about 10 to 15 years ago,” said Lydon. “I kind of followed her wherever she (Sieradzki) went. She and (Lake Seminole Square executive director) Cliff (Albrecht) have been most instrumental in getting this venue. They’ve been very accommodating.”
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