Haunt your own house
An Upper East Side residence decorated for Halloween. (Photo: Phil S. Kropoth)
Special to amNewYork
New Yorkers may be feeling the fear of the economic pinch, but that hasnt stopped some from decking their homes with ghouls, goblins and everything in between this Halloween season.
We really embrace the horror, said T.J. OShea, an assistant to Manhattanite Richard Medly, who owns a gruesomely decorated townhouse on 63rd Street between Park and Madison avenues.The Medlys whose house is covered in such seasonal emphemera as skulls, vultures, a barbecue roasting (faux) human flesh and a gutted pig compete every year with friends a few blocks north. We definitely won this year, OShea said.
The family and its neighbors are hardly alone in the impulse to decorate, as total Halloween spending is expected to reach about $5.77 billion nationwide this year, according to the National Retail Federations Halloween Consumer survey. That means the average person will spend $66.54 up from $64.82 last year.
William Freeman, an attorney, said he enjoys the scary sights.
Id love to see more places like this, he said, in reference to a decorated Upper East Side home.
But not every haunted house gets that kind of love.
In Greenpoint, Barbara Galeotafiores neighbors have complained about her homes get-up, and recently the citys Department of Parks and Recreation told her to remove the lights shed strung through her trees to illuminate flying ghouls. Galeotafiore said the agency told her the lights dry up the leaves and officials threatened her with a summons if she didnt eighty-six them.
In addition to the ghouls, Galeotafiores decorations include a glowing organ, gravestones, illuminated pumpkins and spooks inside her front gate.
We used to have music, but the neighbors complained about that, too, she said.
Her decorations are part of a 40-year family tradition flamboyant decorating for all major holidays. Though neighbors and the city arent shy about making their objections known, Galeotafiore said she gets the seal of approval from an audience for whom the display is intended: children.
I usually get about a hundred kids who stop by, she said.
Try three scarily simple tips:
1. Brown paper bags can be creepy luminaria.
Draw pumpkins, witches or ghosts on the bags, weigh them down with sand and insert votive candles in glass holders. Use the bags to line stoops and counters, or to throw a little light on tabletops.
2. Black pumpkins are scarier than orange ones.
Fully scoop out a pumpkin, spray it with black paint, then carve a Jack-o-lantern. Add candles to up the fright factor.
3. Themed candles set a mood.
Pottery Barn (117 E. 59th St.) carries a selection of skull-shaped candles and votives decorated with a skull and crossbones. Pier 1 (71 Fifth Ave.) has black pumpkin candles. And at Crate and Barrel (611 Broadway), pick up a few spider-shaped tea candles.