It started with one, and has grown over the years to become a holiday masterpiece.
Maria Felix has collected dozens of tiny haunted houses and other figurines, creating in the process one of the largest and finest Halloween-themed displays around.
She not only has houses set out on long tables inside her South Pasadena home, but other ghoulish items, including small Jack-o-lanterns, castles, caskets and graveyards.
Felix and her husband, Robert, have lived in the 500 block of El Centro Street for 45 years and for 35 of those Maria has been adding to the festive scene on a yearly basis. “It started with this one,” Felix said, pointing to one of the largest of the houses, “and continued from there.”
On Halloween she invites trick-or-treaters and guests into her home to take a peek at her creative talents and, well, obsession of sorts to deck the howls. “It’s just something I love to do,” she said, “and my family likes it.”
She shops for the items at a variety of different stores, looking for bargains everywhere from Target to 99 Cents Only Stores and more.
“Remember Pic ‘n Save?” asked Felix, pointing to another house on the table. “That’s where I got that one.”
Does her husband get involved? “No,” came a quick response from Felix. However, Robert applauds his wife for keeping the tradition alive all these years. “She has the patience for it,” he said. “She takes a lot of pride in it. It takes a lot of work.”
It shows, as Maria carefully positions the figurines and other knick-knacks on the table, drawing praise for the elaborate display. Every detail catches the eye.
Yet, according to Maria and Robert, it’s nothing compared to what is set up around the holidays when both a nativity and white Christmas scene are created in the same dining room location.
“If you think this is good, it’s nothing like that,” Robert said about the year-end display. “It’s fantastic.”