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‘Stranger Things’-Inspired Halloween Decor Goes Viral After Scaring the Internet

Halloween is still over a month away, but a couple may have already created the internet’s favorite spooky decoration.

Aubrey and Dave Appel went viral this week for their ‘Stranger Things’-inspired set, which depicts a scene from the hit Netflix series in which character Max Mayfield levitates.

Much like the show, Max’s figure in the Chicago Call house also floats – and no one on social media can figure out how.

A TikTok showing the decoration has racked up over 13.6 million views. A second video of the decoration has over 1.8 million views.

“When people started showing up at our house early…they were like, ‘We saw you on TikTok. How’s she doing up there?'” Dave, 36, recalled.

The Calls started thinking about how they would decorate their house for Halloween about four years ago. After the pandemic gave them more time to plan, they started creating more elaborate decorations.

The couple describe themselves as “Home Haunters”, which means they go all out every season. They also belong to the Chicago Haunt Builders, a collective of decorators who have made intricate Halloween displays in their homes.

They’re also big “Stranger Things” fans and horror movie buffs, so when they started planning and designing decorations this summer, they knew they had to find a way to fit into the show.

“We’re obsessed with horror, so it’s the best of both worlds,” said Aubrey, 39.

The couple appreciate how incredibly real the practical effects of horror movies can seem, which inspired some of their hands-on Halloween props.

“We stuck with this because it’s so cool and it’s artistic in its own grotesque way,” Dave said.

The Max figurine is made up of items like pool noodles and is weighted to look as realistic as possible in any weather, although the couple said they take Max indoors when outdoor conditions were deteriorating. They said they learned how to create a realistic Max by watching YouTubers like Stiltbeast Studios. They also said they were still making changes to the prop to make it look as realistic as possible ahead of Halloween.

The couple had originally planned to wait to start decorating closer to Halloween, but when they saw how buoyant it looked, they decided to put it up earlier, on August 27.

The couple said they were grateful to their neighbors, who were very proud to have such enthusiastic decorators in the area.

Since the publication of the TikTok, many have been trying to figure out how the couple floated Max.

Aubrey and Dave Appel created a floating replica of Max from ‘Stranger Things’, which has gone viral on social media.Aubrey and Dave Appel

“I need to know how she is up there. Remind me when the reveal video is online please,” one person commented on Call’s TikTok video.

Another person wrote, “Honestly this is by far the coolest thing I’ve seen on this app in the longest time.”

Dozens echoed one commenter, who simply asked, “but HOWWWWW?”

Aubrey and Dave said people react exactly the same when they see Max in real life as they do online.

‘Stranger Things’-Inspired Halloween Decor Goes Viral After Scaring the Internet

“We put in a ton – a ton – of effort,” Dave said.

They’re keeping the secret of how she floats under wraps – for now.

The couple said the effect was extremely practical, but they didn’t want to spoil the magic before the holidays.

“She really floats,” Dave said. “She looks like what you see in the video in person, but knowing the secret is a lot of fun.”


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