The Horrors of Hallowe'en In Hackensack
On the extra-long block between Prospect Avenue and Summit Avenue in
Hackensack, NJ, Clinton Place is alive with the buzz of Hallowe'en. Or more
The residents of almost every house on this stretch of Clinton Place decorate
their properties annually to the blood-encrusted hilt in preparation for the
arrival of October 31. Decorations range from benign, life-size cardboard
cutouts of cartoon characters to ghastly masks and morbid figures slumped
in full grave yard scenes. This is no mere suburban show of Walmart inflatable
giant pumpkins. Strobe lights, smoke machines, and trail after trail of sinuous
cobwebs accentuate the Fangoria-worthy displays.
This year's themes include The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Legend of
Sleepy Hollow, Scooby-Doo, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Little Red
Riding Hood (complete with a smoke-rising chimney), Finding Nemo, and
Pirates of the Caribbean. Returning themes include The Wizard of Oz and
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
The more ghoulish-minded will get their fill with the abundance of execution
scenes, tombstones, giant spiders, and corpses crawling out of the ground.
A pool of skinny-dipping skeletons, reminiscent of the pool scene in Poltergeist,
festers on one neighbor's lawn. My personal recurring favorite is the authentic
hearse complete with monstrous drivers, stopped short of running over a poor
soul sprawled in front of the wheels.
Be sure to look up, down, and all around when exploring Clinton Place. The
upper story windows tell a tale, as do some of the trees. Look carefully, and
you will see what fate may befall a haughty skier daring to slalom through
the woods. Keep your ears open as well: not all of the mood-setting is done
Clinton Place can be reached by NJ 17, US 46 or Interstate 80, depending on
where you're coming from. However you choose to get there, get there––like
me, you'll probably be, um, dying to go back each year.