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Invite in the spell of Oxford’s unconventional Halloween decorations

Skeletons dance at You’re Fired’s spooky disco.
Skeletons dance at You’re Fired’s spooky disco.

Nothing screams Halloween like disco-dancing skeletons who love to twerk.

At least, that’s how Oxford’s local paint-it-yourself pottery studio You’re Fired chooses to portray the season.

Photo by Ava Shaffer | The Miami Student
You’re Fired features plenty of Halloween decor.

No longer is the world of Halloween decorations a boring blend of oranges and browns. The residents of Oxford, Ohio, and students at Miami University are adding their own creative twists to autumnal decor. 

Photo by Carly Heritage | The Miami Student

A skeleton sits outside of a student's house.

Photo by Carly Heritage | The Miami Student

Many students have decked out their porches with Halloween decorations.

Photo by Evan Stefanik | The Miami Student
Skeletons sit out on porches just like students during this season.
Photo by Evan Stefanik | The Miami Student
Students spruce up their shelves with Halloween boas.

This DIY approach to Halloween decorations is well-embraced by Miami students as a way of expressing their own personal creativity and unique take on the season. Halloween decorations can become a creative Frankenstein-esque mashup of different pieces, especially for college students living with roommates. 

Photo by Ava Shaffer | The Miami Student
Halloween haunts Shaffer’s house.

I live with two roommates, and when October rolls around, we compile all of the decorations we collected from long-forgotten bins in our parents' basements, garage sales and frequent Goodwill trips. The combination of various aesthetics, brands and ages of the decor items makes college a uniquely special time for unconventional decorating.

In my apartment, we’ve got colorful felt witches' feet hanging in the doorways, a vintage green candelabra, and a scarily-accurate-looking raven on our mantle. I have placemats of cartoon dogs wearing pumpkins on the dining table and “Hocus Pocus” Squishmallows on the couch, and my roommate displays her collection of animal bones by the TV. 

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Photo by Ava Shaffer | The Miami Student
Shaffer and her roommates watch scary movies with their decorated TV stand.

My tarot cards live on our table, and we have candles and crystals galore adorning every available surface. This all helps to make our apartment feel witchy and homey. 

It’s not what you typically see walking through the Halloween decoration aisle of Target, which is part of its charm. 

Photo by Ava Shaffer | The Miami Student
Witches feet hang along Shaffer’s ceiling.

You typically wouldn’t find disco-dancing skeletons in the Target Halloween aisle either, which is what makes a specific Oxford shop’s decorations so enchanting. 

Photo by Evan Stefanik | The Miami Student
Homes everywhere are showing their Halloween spirit.

You’re Fired’s large window display on the corner of North Beech Street depicts a spooky and groovy scene: a skeleton nightclub. Four 3-feet-tall skeletons rock pink boas and Mardi Gras beads, posing in iconic dance moves. Multiple disco balls hang from the ceiling, casting a multicolored strobe light effect around the display. 

Lisa Leishman, owner of You’re Fired, gave insight into her creative process for making this display.

“Let’s make them look like they’re partying and having the best time ever,” Leishman said.

With a skeleton twerking, another sliding down a dance pole and one riding a disco ball à la Miley Cyrus in “Wrecking Ball,” you can’t deny the liveliness and excitement emanating from inside the shop.

“I’m always one for upcycling, and when someone was getting rid of a flag pole, I thought ‘That would make the perfect stripper pole for a skeleton,’” Leishman said.

The creativity and fun energy encapsulated by these decorations is the exact kind of atmosphere You’re Fired promotes. 

“I hope [the decorations] say we are very inviting and a little more laid back than other businesses,” Leishman said. “We are comfortable with people, especially college students.”

The window display also includes hand-painted signs and pottery that can be purchased and painted inside You’re Fired. These decorations include wooden door or street signs and clay pumpkins, gourds and sugar skulls.

Photo by Carly Heritage | The Miami Student

Bruno's Pizza embraces this scary time of year.

Halloween in college is a strange witch's brew of eclectic decor and creativity. Miami students and the Oxford community can throw it all in the cauldron and create something new.

Photo by Evan Stefanik | The Miami Student
The Apple Tree displays its spooky setup for Halloween in its window.
Photo by Evan Stefanik | The Miami Student
Drop In Tea decorates its windows for Halloween.
Photo by Evan Stefanik | The Miami Student
Bruno’s Pizza features famous Halloween characters in its storefront.