Skeletons of Vivian Line back for some fun and games in sixth season

The Skeletons of Vivian Line are back for their sixth season, with new displays daily until Nov. 1.

The Skeletons of Vivian Line are back for another season of fun and games. Pictured, the skeletons enjoyed a game of bubble-ball soccer in the rain on Wednesday. Galen Simmons/The Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network

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They couldn’t contain themselves any longer.

At the stroke of midnight on Thanksgiving Sunday, the Skeletons of Vivian Line escaped the confines of their summer storage closet, climbed over the roof of Melissa McKerlie’s home, and set to work cleaning up her front yard for 18 days of fun and games.

The much-beloved and increasingly popular Skeletons of Vivian Line displays are back for their sixth season, and McKerlie, the woman behind the Halloween magic, is excited to announce she has the materials, supplies, and ideas to keep each of this year’s displays fresh and new.

Melissa McKerlie, the woman behind the annual Skeletons of Vivian Line displays, poses for a photo with a couple of her bony pals. Galen Simmons/The Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network jpg, SF

“Really, this season is just focused on the skeletons having fun, and just family-fun activities,” McKerlie said. “We’re not going to do the election this year because we did the election four years ago and we’re still in the no-repeat zone.”

Having surpassed more than 100 unique displays last October, McKerlie said she was a little worried she would run out of fresh ideas this year. However, as her displays have become more popular, not just in Stratford but throughout the region and beyond via social media, she has received more than enough new ideas from fans of all ages to keep her skeletons and their fans happy through this season and into next.

“I’ve had just so many great ideas come in from other people. … A friend called me yesterday. She said, ‘Have you ever done this?’ … So people submit their ideas to us – sometimes we can do it, sometimes, we can’t – but I have a big ongoing list. I only have (the displays) planned out a couple days ahead because of weather, but I have this long list that I pull from,” McKerlie said.

Emerson Skotniczny, one of the skeletons’ biggest fans, stopped in to join the fun Tuesday evening after school. Emerson stops by every day to see the Skeletons of Vivian Line in action, and has even shared a few of his own ideas for displays. Galen Simmons/The Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network jpg, SF

While McKerlie doesn’t want to give away everything she has planned for this season, she did say that a few of this October’s displays, which she will change daily until Nov. 1, may be a little tricky to pull off. However, if she’s successful, McKerlie said this season could be the best one yet.

And while she has some rather lofty ideas of her own, McKerlie is eager to receive new ideas from others, especially those that would work particularly well in wet or windy weather.

“Our toughest days are the days that are raining and windy. That’s what I’m most worried about,” she said. “Rain’s really hard because I can’t take a lot of the props outside and get them wet. And wind is hard too because the bones have a tendency to blow around quite a bit.”

Anyone with ideas for skeletal displays can send them to McKerlie at

And for those who would like to keep up with the skeletons’ antics but can’t make it to Stratford, McKerlie posts photos and descriptions daily on the Skeletons of Vivian Line Facebook page, on Instagram, and at