How does a Plainfield family get a Max from ‘Stranger Things’ Halloween decorations to float?

PLAINFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – In Plainfield, Halloween decor goes beyond spooky.

We’ve watched it over and over on TikTok like millions of people online, however, we can’t figure out how that could be.

It looks like a real girl dressed as Sadie Sink’s Max Mayfield from “Stranger Things” is floating in the air. It’s not a real person – it’s a dummy – but the family behind it is keeping the mystery of how it works.

CBS 2’s Jermont Terry came to see it all on his own Friday night.

Dave Appel and his wife, Aubrey, go for Halloween decorations every year. This year, they start on August 1.

“And then every time we got home from work,” said Dave Appel.

Each year, the final product has proven to be both dramatic and spooky – giant spiders over the garage, fog covering the driveway, the “Stranger Things” monster Demogorgon standing front and center center on the grass.

But this time, there’s a specific prop – also mentioning “Stranger Things,” a hit Netflix series the family loves – and it’s getting everyone’s attention.



Dave Appel said: “There are a lot of people out there who are just as fanatical as we are, so we wanted to create something that’s most iconic of the show; something that probably no one else could have tried to do. Okay”.

When the family decided to recreate Max from “Stranger Things” flying through the air, it confused everyone.

“The surprise of how – or similar, you know – ‘Where? Where did it come from? How did they do it?'” Dave Appel said.

Dave and Aubrey created a quick TikTok of the Max screen – and it now has over 14 million views. Everyone wants to know what is keeping Max afloat.

Dave will tell you what not.

“It’s not a drone. It’s not helium or balloons,” he said, “and we just have more fun keeping it under the covers.”

The sense of mystery is all about it.

“We don’t think that’s it,” said Dave Appel.

If you were hoping to find out Max’s secret hovering in this story, unfortunately, your wish will not come true. The Apples are not yet ready to reveal the secret.

But the screen is getting attention. CBS 2’s Terry ran into some neighbors who happened to see Max floating on TikTok and wanted to drive over – and the person said they had plenty of “Stranger Things” fans lined up behind them .

Even Netflix got in on the fun – definitely calling the Appels “#001 fans”.

Dave Appel seems a little distrustful, but he’s ready to claim the title for the work he and his family take on.

“It makes me feel great,” he said. “Surprised.”

But what’s even better is that the Apples are doing something like a family – and bringing smiles and shouts to so many other families.

“That’s what makes us want to keep doing that, is to make the kids happy,” said Aubrey Appel.

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