John Westfall, an architect with a background in anthropology, loves “ancient civilizations, ruins and mysterious things.” That’s why, every few years, the Rose City Park resident creates an elaborate Halloween set for the enjoyment of his friends and neighbors. Over the years, project themes have included everything from “Tarzan and the Lost Tribe of the Amazons” to “Mt. Olympus and the Courtyard of Dionysus.” This year’s theme was “Secrets of the Orient and the Year of the Snake.”
“I love to build. I love to pound nails,” Westfall said, while acknowledging the work his friends and neighbors did to make the sets possible. Westfall takes care of the actual construction, but others, including his partner Ken Hashagen, help out with painting, sculpting and caulking.
Westfall finds inspiration from a variety of sources. This year’s set included a snake inspired by a temple in Malaysia, a dragon like one found in China’s Forbidden City, a landscape mural based on a Japanese scroll Westfall came across on e-bay and a pond from a “Mission Impossible” movie.