Murphy Family Creates Annual Themed Experiences
Before Kim married Paul Snopik 23 years ago, she had a pretty good idea of his enthusiasm for Halloween. They participated in Halloween costume parties with gusto. One year they dressed as Tonya Harding (Kim wore ice skates all night) and Nancy Kerrigan (Paul’s costume was complete with crutches). Another pre-marriage year, they were the cheerleaders from Saturday Night Live. Kim said, “We always have fun being creative.”
The Halloween fun continues at the Snopik household as their family of five goes all out with what their younger daughter, Megan, describes as “a different themed experience for all the trick or treaters.” The Snopik’s moved to Murphy in 2011 from Northeast Ohio. Paul said, “In Ohio, we always did Halloween the Saturday before Halloween. There would be 400-500 kids trick-or-treating.” However, it wasn’t until they moved to Murphy did Paul decide he wanted to “do more than just spider webs.” In 2014 they had a Godzilla theme, 2015 was the year of Star Wars, 2016 showcased the Peanuts, 2017 their new red Jeep was featured in the Jurassic Park theme and this year will be Ghostbusters. Paul said, “Each year it seems to get bigger.”
Paul is the mastermind behind the Snopik’s themed experiences; however the entire family participates before, during and after the big night. After Labor Day they begin discussing themes. They upcycle many props from previous years such as the wood from the pirate ship used during Wylie High School’s homecoming parade that became the X-wing fighter for the Star Wars experience. It was then used for the Great Pumpkin sign during the Peanuts experience and will be used again this year for Ghostbusters. Megan was able to use the cityscape from the Godzilla experience in a school project. This year, she repurposed the scene and painted it to incorporate the Dallas skyline. They bought a 9 foot beach ball and painted it to be the Death Star. They laughingly tell about when they brought the ‘Death Star’ beach ball with them on vacation to Destin and the comments they received while playing with it in the surf.
When the Snopik’s children were little, Paul would not tell the family what his costume would be until Halloween, when he would make the big reveal. One year he was Burger King and another year he was MC Hammer. When Megan was Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Paul rented and wore the Beast costume.
A lot of time is spent creating props from chicken wire and PVC. They go to thrift stores for the beginnings of props such as the bowl that was used for the top of R2-D2. Paul said he gets many curious glances with the requests he has made at fabric stores.
The Snopik’s three children give reviews of their father’s Halloween verve. Maggie, 20-years-old, said, “It’s great! Everyone loves it. It makes my dad happy.” Megan, 17-years-old, said, “It’s spectacular! It is a cool experience for the neighborhood.” Will, 15-years-old, said, “I think it’s pretty cool.”
Paul describes his decorations as family friendly. He said this year, the gargoyles and “scary lady” are scarier decorations than he normally has on display.
If there are costumes involved with the themed experience, then it’s all hands on deck the night of Halloween, which is the case this year. The Snopik’s will be in costume passing out candy and invite everyone to consider their yard as a giant photo opportunity. Their address is 601 Twin Valley Drive.