Halloween 2020 was filled with all of the wrong kind of scares.
From a web of classic ghouls to a gory haunted hotel, these scary setups are sure to make this Halloween memorable.
And why not? As devoted decorator Samantha Ferenc told The Post: “Our goal was to cheer up kids after going through so much over the last year.”
Here, the most to-die-for homes to check out in the five boroughs and beyond.
A monster mash in Monroe, NJ
With an acre of tricks and treats, registered nurse Samantha Ferenc has the most popular house in the Garden State right now.
Triple the size of the Ferenc family’s 2020 display at their former home in Old Bridge, NJ, this delightful monstrosity in Monroe features multiple 12-foot-tall skeletons, a rotten pumpkin patch, a hearse and graveyard, a clown section, a witch section, and a knight and dragon. It’s all topped off by a five-and-a-half-foot animatronic spider consuming an unfortunate wiggling fellow. Plus, there’s a fog-making “selfie cauldron” for the Instagram-inclined.
“It just kind of evolved on its own since last year,” Ferenc said. “People don’t do as much anymore when it comes to decorating like this during the holidays, so this feels incredibly special.”
The setup will be in full operation — complete with animatronics, music and a surplus of candy — after nightfall on Oct. 19, 24, 30 and 31. Ferenc is taking donations for the American Blood Clot Association in honor of her late mother who passed away over the winter.
2 Robin Lane, Monroe, NJ
A killer spot in Astoria, Queens
Each year, divorce lawyer Vicky Poumpouridis wastes not an inch of space with her displays of life-size horror characters — including Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees — illuminated creepy crawlies and ghosts popping through her upper-floor windows. For 2021, she’s taken things to a spooky new level with upgraded lighting and more ghosts and goblins.
“It peps up the neighborhood and makes people so happy,” Poumpouridis, who recruits both her mother and sister each year for the three-day elaborate installation, told The Post.
Poumpouridis spends some $1,000 on candy alone so that she can give trick-or-treaters the good stuff in generous portions. Visitors line up around the block on 27th Street.
“I get repeat customers every year who love to come back and see what we added on this time around. I might prank them by dressing up as Michael Myers and hide in the display.”
26-18 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, Queens
A very dark web shines bright by Hell Gate Bridge in Queens
Not far from Poumpouridis’ display, nurse Ellie Holt puts up a glowing ivy and web extravaganza with ghouls, ghosts and massive skeletons that move about. A mother of twin boys, Holt also decorates the entryway to her home with jack-o’-lanterns for those who prefer cute to spooky.
Each year, she aims to add features to her demonic decorations. The year, there are new rope lights that can be prominently seen from blocks away, especially at night.
“My husband allows me only two bins to keep decorations in in the offseason, I would do even more to the display if he would allow me more storage,” Holt told The Post.
22-16 21st St., Astoria, Queens
A true Airbn-boo in Ridgewood, Queens
Being the autumn joy of her neighborhood is a dream come true for retiree Sherry Ortega.
Each year, she turns 68th Street in Ridgewood into a one-stop shop for Halloween horror delights. This year she’s gone above and beyond with the theme “Hotel Ridgewood.”
“This one is the most extreme I’ve done. Now that my kids are older, I have a lot more flexibility with the spooky stuff,” Ortega told The Post.
There are skeletons galore, witches hanging from the roof alongside disturbed-looking dolls, scary videos and ghosts, plus a gory “cannibals kitchen” section and a cigar lounge area that truly proves smoking kills.
To get the most of her experience, Ortega advises visitors to come at night, especially on Allhallows Eve.
65-14 68th Ave., Ridgewood, Queens
An old-school hippie haunt in Chelsea
An art installer by trade, Chelsea resident Barb Salzman has earned a reputation for having the most festive house on the block come Halloween.
With each season, she decorates a massive peace sign that hangs outside of her apartment building. She first put up the sign to celebrate Christmas a few years ago, but it’s become more known for its Halloween displays. This year, she has big plans for a “Children of the Corn” theme.
“It’s become a tradition of the neighborhood. We can never ever take this down,” Salzman said of the installation, which people share photos of online with the hashtag #PeaceLoveChelsea. “Since we’re a designated trick-or-treating zone, the kids all love it and also people come by, pose and take photos with it all day. It feels great to have something like that on our block.”
While the current theme is more fall than fear, a Halloween makeover is set for the week ahead.
314 W. 22nd St., Chelsea, Manhattan
A deadly dining room in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Dawn Eldridge, who runs the French restaurant and bar Citroën, is looking to make up for some lost time this Halloween.
“It’s been a pretty miserable year, so we wanted to instigate some fun for everyone,” she told The Post of the motivation behind her holiday decor.
Skulls, cobwebs and hands abound in the dining rooms, as do bloody flour footprints, cursed photos and a dog’s skeleton.
And for those looking to drink in the fright even more, there are two Halloween-themed cocktails — “Night of the Drinking Dead” and “Beached Goth Fantasy” — served in skull vessels.
Given the restaurant’s 1920s French decor— dim lighting, white tile walls, vintage fixtures — the spooky setup came naturally, Eldridge said.
”We played into that,” she explained.
931 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint, Brooklyn
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