Dyker Heights turns into ‘Dyker Frights’ for Halloween

DYKER HEIGHTS — Dyker Heights is world-famous for its Christmas lights display but the neighborhood’s homeowners also go all-out for Halloween, decorating their front lawns with eye-popping scenes of zombies playing on swings, dead people crawling out of graves and giant spiders peering into windows.

A stroll through the streets of Dyker Heights, as well as its neighboring community of Bay Ridge, reveals dozens of creatively decorated houses that are giving visitors chills and laughs at the same time.

“Dyker Heights residents are very proud of their homes. They like to decorate and entertain. The decorations are different and inventive,” Dyker Heights Civic Association President Fran Vella-Marrone told the Home Reporter.

The decorating frenzy in the neighborhood “has really picked up over the past few years,” Vella-Marrone said.

Photo by Tom Hilton

As a result, Dyker Heights gets a lot of visitors on Halloween. “And we get a massive amount of kids trick-or-treating. You can’t even move on 13th Avenue,” Vella-Marrone said.

Here is some of what photographer Tom Hilton found when he traveled around the area with his camera: skulls hanging from roofs, zombies dancing on lawns, a friendly-looking Frankenstein sitting on a front porch, a sign in front of one home reading “Home of the Wicked Witch,” two zombies playing patty-cake and lots of gravestones.

“I’ve seen a ring of ghosts and I’ve seen a lot of pumpkins,” Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann said. “People really get into the spirit of Halloween. It makes it fun for everyone.”

Beckmann said the block of 79th Street between 11th and 12th avenues, where the FDNY’s Engine 284-Ladder 149 firehouse is located, will be the scene of a block party, “Dyker Frights,” on Thursday, Oct. 31, from noon to 8 p.m.

“It’s a safe way for families and children to enjoy Halloween,” she said.

If current trends continue, Dyker Heights could become just as famous at Halloween as it is for Christmas.

Photo by Tom Hilton

The Dyker Heights Christmas lights display is a community-wide event that has been going on for many years and features homes adorned with thousands of twinkling lights, larger-than-life Santas, dancing reindeer, “Nutcracker Suite” figures, illuminated snowflakes, giant snow globes and other elaborate decorations.

It has grown enormously in popularity in recent years.

Tourists by the thousands board buses and come to the neighborhood to enjoy the nighttime show.

Photos by Tom Hilton

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