Dyker Heights is bringing back the frights during the Halloween season for a 10th year.
Each year, Dyker Frights takes over a home located at 1123 79th Street, transforming it, for the season, into a unique haunted house that brings chills and thrills to passersby.
Avid Halloween fan, graphic designer and longtime Brooklynite Anthony George decorates his home each year as neighbors show up in droves every October.
“On a weekly basis, thousands of people come constantly and all night long,” said George. “They come from the Bronx, New Jersey, all over, too.”
Along with his love for Halloween, one of George’s main motivations is to create an exciting experience for local children. “The kids love it. We see the same ones every year and they come to see what’s new. They remember every little detail,” he said. “It has become a great bargaining chip because parents tell them that if they do their homework, they can see the house.”
There is even a die-hard fan that has become a part of the Dyker Frights experience. “There is this kid named James who sees it twice a day,” George said. “He’s only seven, yet he participates. This year, he even showed me stuff.”
However, the scary event isn’t just for kids. “Adults and old timers are sometimes more into it. They’re constantly outside my house,” George said. “It’s getting bigger and better each year. In the summer, people ask me when I’m going to start.” George has also had neighbors bring their phones to take photos to show family members who live far away.
Each year, George tries to mix in new additions along with some classic and favorite props.
“I don’t do the same thing every year. Some elements are the same as last year, but I’ve added to it. All of the decorations are antiques and collectibles,” he said. “I even wrapped the front of the house in vinyl covers. I wanted make it look like a rickety, old house.”
George also received some inspiration from the recent movie, “Insidious,” which resulted in him building old fences around the home. “It looks great, especially at night. We have props moving and fog coming out of the house and all that.”
George starts designing his haunted house in the middle of September and completes it by the beginning of October. He even collaborates with his neighbor as she allows him to expand the space. As a graphic designer, George also designs shirts to give away during the event.
Although fans visit the house all month long, Halloween is the grand event. “On Halloween, it’s out of control. Four other people and I dress up and try to blend in with the décor,” George said. “I’m out there for hours. Schools are going to be out this year since Halloween falls on a Saturday. It’s going to be crazy. I’m out there until 9 p.m. I’m trying to get the firehouse to close the block for the day.”
After Superstorm Sandy, Dyker Frights served as a place for children who lived in areas hit hard to celebrate the holiday. “After Sandy, which was two days before Halloween, people from Staten Island and Queens came here to celebrate the holiday with the kids because everything was out.”
George, was inspired by horror movies such as “The Exorcist” and the haunted houses he visits at Universal Studios.
Despite the hard work, George plans to keep hosting Dyker Frights. “I’m going to keep doing it as long as I’m able to.,” he promised.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/dykerfrights.