Halloween diva unleashes her inner child
Britany Thornton will host a party at her home as the Queen of Hearts. "Queen of Halloween" Britany Thornton looks forward each year to decorating her home for Halloween. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Occupation: Medical technologist at Loyola University Medical Center
Favorite costume: Mad Hatter
Hobbies: Decorative painting for charitable events, including grandfather clocks for Hour Town La Grange exhibit and auction and umbrellas for the Goombay Bash to fund cancer research
Updated: November 26, 2012 6:07AM
LAGRANGE PARK — Britany Thornton firmly believes Halloween isn’t just for kids.
After getting every sprig of moss and tiny ghost and gravestone in place, Thornton turns off the lights in her LaGrange Park apartment and gets ready to flip the switch to light up her miniature haunted Halloween village.
“I’m like a little kid on Christmas morning,” Thornton confessed. “I invite all my neighbors over to see it when I flip on all the lights.
“This is my holiday.”
The village is comprised of a spooky movie theater, greenhouse, Dracula’s house, a witch’s house with flying objects, 10 other haunted houses and a gazebo made of tiny bones and skulls.
The unveiling of the village caps several weeks of preparations for Thornton, who likes to call herself the Queen of Halloween.
“My birthday is in October,” she said. “I had regular birthday parties for a while, but as I got more and more into Halloween, I had Halloween-themed parties, and it’s just progressed from there.”
Since getting her own apartment three years ago, Thornton, 27, said she can fully indulge all her decorating whims. She began collecting ghosts and goblins while working at a Halloween store nine years ago.
“Every year, it’s a challenge. What can I do to one-up myself,” she said. “I was looking at pictures from last year, and I decided to decorate the ceiling, too. I want full-on Halloween this year.”
Thornton said it takes a full day and several mornings and afternoons to transform her home into a dungeon domain. The walls and ceilings are covered with gray bricks. Skulls and shrouds take over the kitchen, and creepy portraits with shimmering eyes line the hallway. She also decorates a Halloween tree.
Although her apartment has a haunted vibe, Thorton said she steers clear of gory or bizarre décor.
“I’m a science major, biochemistry,” she said. “Zombies have a huge cult following with TV shows and pub crawls year round. But it’s just not for me.”
Costumes also are a big part of the holiday for Thornton, who has prepared a Queen of Hearts gown from the Alice in Wonderland tale. Her dog will be dressing as a clown this year with previous outings as Darth Vader and a fairy.
“Halloween is a time of year when the kid can really come out in everyone,” she said. “To me it’s the happiest time of year.”