By Elizabeth Perry
Our Halloween decorating contest has a Coraopolis winner well worth checking out this spooky season.
Charles Gant and his fiancee Tracy Weber have turned their home at the corner of Vine Street and Devonshire Road into a petrifying pirate panoply.
With help from Tracy’s daughter Natalia and her mom, Deborah Masterino, they’ve managed to craft a one-of-a-kind holiday display.
To passersby, it looks like a ship is sinking into the sideyard, taken out by an enormous tentacled monster. Gant said they made the tentacles out of drain tubes, shrink wrap and paint, with suckers molded from pipe foam. Gant and his family created many of the figures by hand out of skeletons that they then covered in chicken wire, shrink wrap, latex and paint.
Gant, a graphic designer who has created impressive Halloween displays in years past that have caught the eye of the local news, was the creative driving force behind the decorations. The couple have owned the house for three years, and previously did an elaborate mummy theme followed by decorations inspired by the film, The Dark Crystal.
Before that, Gant lived in Penn Hills where he crafted a spooky Halloween Cemetery that garnered so much attention Michele Wright from WTAE did a story on the display. This year’s pirate ship has been featured on KDKA.
Though he had formal training as an artist, he learned most of his carpentry skills from his uncles and granddad.
“They did all that stuff,” Gant said.
Gant said he wants to sell the pirate ship which he built plank by plank out of solid wood and the original decorations. In years past, he’d made things that could be easily stored, but that isn’t the case with the ship. He was thinking a price tag of $4,000 could recoup the cost of all the materials and some of the man hours.
From a young age, Gant has drawn and that interest in art has led him to keep creating.
“You see it and you can just make it,” Gant said.