By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

McMinnville couple goes full ghoul for their anniversary

Marcus Larson/News-Register##A skeleton trims the grass at Dan and Janisse Griffin’s house, where the front yard is filled with corpses and famous Halloween movie characters. The Halloween fans were married on Oct. 31 nine years ago.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##A skeleton trims the grass at Dan and Janisse Griffin’s house, where the front yard is filled with corpses and famous Halloween movie characters. The Halloween fans were married on Oct. 31 nine years ago.
Submitted photo##Dan and Janisse Griffin on their wedding day, Oct. 31. Guests dressed as ghouls and shared a “bloody” cake on their special day.
Submitted photo##Dan and Janisse Griffin on their wedding day, Oct. 31. Guests dressed as ghouls and shared a “bloody” cake on their special day.

Blood — actually, red fondant — dripped down the sides of Dan and Janisse Griffin’s white wedding cake, topped with Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein. When they sliced into the layers at their Halloween nuptials nine years ago, guests, many dressed in ghoulish costumes, saw more blood — actually, red velvet cake.

This is a couple who loves Halloween.

Dan grew up in Iowa and moved to McMinnville about 20 years ago. Janisse, who grew up in Indiana, first visited 10 years ago to see if the sparks that flew when they were dating online would continue burning in person.

They did, torched by their mutual love for Halloween. 

“I grew up on a farm, and every excuse we could find to have a bonfire ...” Dan recalled.

Janisse, who grew up in a century-old home in town, loved trick-or-treating and visiting neighbor’s haunted houses. 

Now the Griffins make a big deal of every Oct. 31. Janisse dresses in costume to hand out candy to children; she’ll be a witch or a pirate this Sunday. Dan goes all out decorating their home on Northwest Eighth Street, near Cypress, with inflatables and other seasonal decor.

Right after Halloween, they always hit the sales to collect more Halloween gear. They’ve found numerous “Nightmare Before Christmas” items, in addition to witches, ghosts, ghouls, pumpkins and other spooky stuff.

They have quite a few Disney items, too, such as Mickey Mouse dressed as a bat and Minnie as a ghost. “Janisse is a Disney nut,” her husband said fondly.

They always celebrate their anniversary appropriately, traveling to a place where ghosts have been reported or another mysterious site.

This year, they marked their ninth year of marriage at Wolf Creek Inn, a supposedly haunted hotel in Southern Oregon. They visited the Oregon Vortex, a spooky covered bridge and a ghost town, too.

“We take turns planning, one of us one year and the other the next,” Dan said. “We never know where we’re going, but it’s always fun.”

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