By Sage Um

Halloween is here again, so you can count on some horrific spectacle from local artist and entertainer Mark Cline.

Next to The Jefferson Florist & Garden on N. Lee Highway, Cline has installed a giant pair of fiberglass hands, complete with veins and dirty fingernails. The apparitions emerge as if from a premature burial, extending 14 ½ and 16 feet high.

Hands emerge from the ground in celebration of Halloween. (Photo by Sage Um)

“It’s part of a tradition,” said Cline. “I’ve done this for more than 10 years in Lexington and Rockbridge County.”

Cline’s first “surprise” creation was in 2001, four miles from Lexington, when he built flying saucers from old satellite dishes. They were mounted for April Fool’s Day and remained there for a week.

Since then, Cline has continued to provide similar surprises to the county. In 2004, he built Foamhenge, a scale reproduction of England’s Stonehenge, in Natural Bridge and in 2006, he created the Dinosaur Kingdom, an installation near Natural Bridge combining both dinosaurs and the Civil War.

Cline chose the giant hands from an older April Fool’s display called “Jack’s Giant Killing Service,” and reinvented them for this Halloween. The hands were originally set on top of a hill near a truck with an ax on top.

In exchange for installing the hands near Jefferson Florist’s, Cline said, the owner has agreed to give Cline 300 carnations for Christmas. Cline and his wife will then give out the flowers to the elderly on Christmas Eve.

“I do this to bring a little happiness into the world,” said Cline. “The community members seem to enjoy my pieces and that’s really what matters the most when it comes to my job.”

Cline is also in charge of Lexington’s Ghost Tour and has prepared the area’s Scare Witch Experience and the Haunted Monster Museum for Halloween. He said he is currently in negotiations for a reality show based on himself and his works.

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