A Horrifyingly Good Time

Two ghoulish figures invite you to see Historic Springfield’s Decorated Porches in October.

You are cordially invited to the spookiest neighborhood in Jacksonville for a hair-raising Halloween sightseeing adventure. The Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR), along with neighborhood spokes-ghouls, Fester N. Rotte and Dr. Blood, are hosting a Porch Decorating Contest this October and invite YOU to enjoy the results.

While Fester and Dr. Blood usually host outrageous Halloween parties to attract new victims — er, guests — to the neighborhood, COVID-19 has brought their festivities to a halt. So, this year, a new and safe, social distant activity will take center stage.

Residents of Historic Springfield will decorate their porches to terrify, delight and totally creep out those who dare to visit from October 10th through October 31st. All are welcome to visit for this most creative and FREE occasion, whether you choose to drive, stroll, scoot or bike throughout the neighborhood. And you might even run into our favorite ghoul-friends, Fester and Dr. Blood while out on your tour!

So, who is this dastardly duo who love Halloween so much? Fester N. Rotte is the thirteenth son of the infamous Sandman (yes, the one who steals the eyes of children who won’t go to sleep). When the Sandman finally passed, it fell to Fester to carry on his duties. But when he couldn’t manage the job, he sought professional help from one Dr. Blood, the Physician of Fright.

If anyone can help Fester overcome his fears of inadequacy, it’s Dr. Blood. He and his staff will perform unorthodox and theatrical treatments known as “fearapy” in his mysterious Institute of Phobiatric Research. He hopes to help Fester overcome his fears as he fulfills his destiny to be the next Sandman. Perhaps he’ll use the local backdrop to do it.

“Halloween inspires such dynamic, outrageous creativity in humans. It provides a safe time to face our fears with fun, and to embrace them,” said Dr. Blood, who founded the Institute of Phobiatric Research. “Decorating porches is one aspect of that. Whether one showcases fearsome Jack O’ Lanterns, creepy skeletons, wicked witches or vampire bats, it is all a positive effort to prevail over what scares us.”

Judges will visit each porch as well. Once their votes are tallied, the winner will be announced on Wednesday, October 28, at Music on Main in Sesquicentennial Park, 1527 North Main Street.

Just remember, whether you walk, bike or drive, to practice social distancing and wear your mask over both your nose and mouth. Fester and Dr. Blood will be watching..

Take the Self-Guided Tour on the Visit Jax App!

For more information about Springfield and the Halloween Porch Decorating Contest, visit sparcouncil.org.

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