For nearly 10 years, Halloween enthusiast Anthony George has decorated the exterior of his home in Dyker Heights as a frightening and unique haunted house that stops countless pedestrians in their tracks to observe and take photos of the neighborhood’s spookiest attraction. “I’ve been doing this since 2006, and it started out small,” said George. “But every year, it kind of got bigger and bigger. Now it’s really high production quality.”
The outside of the home features plenty of vintage (and authentic) props, such as books, coffee cans, rocking chairs and rusted wood. “I like to make it look as real as possible. Everything is real. These are all antiques. The door is 100 years old. Books on the shelf are from 1901. I don’t want them to look store-bought.”
George, who has received inspiration from Horror Nights at Universal Studios in Orlando and movies such as “Cabin in the Woods” and “The Evil Dead,” has a passion for the holiday as well as bringing joy to the local children.
“The little kids, they really love it. They drag their parents and come by every day to see the same thing and ask questions,” he said. “I really do it for them. ” His love for the holiday also gives him the inspiration to continue. “I love Halloween so if it was up to me, it would be up all year.”
Locals haven’t been the only ones to experience the creative décor. “I have people that come up from Jersey to see it. Every year, a guy comes from Ohio around this time to visit his family and wants to see house every year.”
George claims to load up on candy, spending around $500 on goodies to ensure the large crowds that gather on Halloween night don’t walk away empty-handed. “You can’t get down this block. We’re talking thousands of people,” he said. “Every year, more and more people come; from Queens, New Jersey, everywhere.”
Perhaps the best part are the witches and zombie displays, including an old lady on a rocking chair who speaks in a frightening tone as you walk by her. To add to the terror, George and friends dress up and pretend to be part of the display to frighten attendees. “On Halloween, four other guys and me get into the whole thing and dress up and scare them,” George recounted. “I’ve become part of this whole scene. I also dressed up as the grandmother in the rocking in the chair. They had no idea..”
George, with the aid of his wife, sets up the entire display which he said is about 10-hour process, including wrapping the whole house in vinyl. He also mixes it up every year. “This year, it’s different. It didn’t look like last year at all.”
Dyker Frights is set up in September at 1123 79th Street and remains until the middle of November. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/dykerfrights.