They’re backkk. Those dark, threatening creatures of the night. Whether they are bats, vampires, ghost, goblins, skeletons, or other nefarious beings, this is the time they manifest themselves here in Bayonne in preparation for Halloween.
A ride around the city will confirm this. From the foot of Bayonne downtown, up to the Jersey City line and points east and west, you can see them on lawns and the facades of houses. Nighttime is best to view them, as it adds a forbidding element.
For the Lee family of West 4th Street, putting out their various characters, “body parts,” and “graves” has been a labor of love. They have been doing it for 14 years, according to teenager Kyle, who has been pitching in himself for awhile now. Characters from the movie “Monsters, Inc.” were added this year.
“I’ve had a couple of people come by and say the house is nice, that it’s very festive for the Halloween holiday,” he said.
The three hours’ time to do their front lawn is well worth it, knowing how much the family and public enjoy the display, Kyle said.
Over on 5th Street and Kennedy Boulevard, James Clappsy’s usual three weeks’ preparation became four weeks this year because of 2015 additions. Doing “a little here and there” eases the task, which takes 15 to 20 hours each fall.
Clappsy’s work involves climbing a tree in his front yard to fasten a chained, flying ghost with a Jack-O-Lantern head. This year he added unorthodox mates.
“It’s a married couple that’s celebrating their first year in the graveyard,” he said. Factor in an “Elvis guy” and two skull guards for the cemetery and you have quite a lineup.
Clappsy said his children, 20 and 17, enjoy his Halloween handiwork, and that his daughter helps him put together the display. He caps off his work on Oct. 31, when he answers trick-or-treaters’ doorbell ringing, chasing them away dressed as a gorilla or scarecrow after providing them with treats.
So venture out into the Bayonne night bravely. But keep looking over your shoulder …
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.