Turn your garage into a toothy Monster House for Halloween

Fangs for the memories. An Ohio artist went viral with her monstrous decoration idea last fall, and now she's created a new devilish design.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
3 min read

Turns out your garage is a lurking monster, and it's hungry.

Cleveland-area artist Amanda Destro Pierson put together a so-simple-it's-brilliant Halloween decoration last year, turning her garage into a monster that opens and closes its tooth-filled maw as if it's about to eat you, your family, or your Fiesta.

With Halloween just over a month away, the Monster House that went viral in 2016 is back and better than ever, looking this year like a monstrous alligator or giant lizard, with a green scaly outline around its eyes and mouth.

It's a simple but ingenious idea. The monster's eyes and top of its mouth are attached above the garage door and stay put. But the monster's bottom lip and teeth are on the lower part of the door, and move when the garage door goes up, as if the monster is gnashing its teeth -- or about to devour a flock of trick-or-treaters. 

Last year, Pierson also lit the door so it looked especially scary at night.

"The biggest difference between this year's monster and last year's is that last year I made it based on a crafty whim," Pierson told CNET. 

In 2016, she took two days to make five trips to the craft store to whip together the Facebook video that earned 26 million views and 275,000 shares.

"This year, I knew what I was doing, so I sketched out new monster designs and then designed them digitally," Pierson said. "I then had the pieces printed full-size and hung those. Both are my designs, but one was hand-painted and the other designed in Illustrator."

It remains to be seen if Monster House 2.0 will take an equally big bite out of video-watchers' time.

"October 2016 was crazy," Pierson admitted. "My video went viral and I spent a lot of time responding to messages from people who wanted to either buy it or know how to make their own. Then the news sites started picking it up and my garage was famous!"

Want your own Monster House? You can make your own monster body parts of course, but Pierson has been trying to bring a kit to market to assist non-crafty homeowners who want to have their own little monsters. After the first design became famous, a company that wanted to license the idea reached out, and Pierson struck a deal with them by Halloween 2016.  

"I've been working with them on new designs and ideas on how to produce the kits for retail. Fingers crossed that they are selling them right now to big retailers for a 2018 release!" she said. "Sadly, the timing didn't work out for any kits to be available this year. ... My hope is that the retail buyers see how much demand there is out there with all of the views and shares the videos get online."

Whether the kits get made or not, fangs very much for the video.

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