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Some folks hang a few spiders and skeletons on their porches in preparation for Halloween. Others take it a step spookier.
Take, for example, Lenny Rigione and his Somerville home at 166 Central St.
This time of year, the only way to get to Rigione’s front door is through a large, green monster’s mouth that Rigione crafted out of plywood. His home and lawn are spotted with Halloween figures, including a 4-foot-tall spider, witches, jack-o’-lanterns, and Frankenstein. New this year, he said, are a 3-foot-tall coffin, a human skeleton riding a horse skeleton, and a merry-go-round full of ghosts and other scary characters.
“Everything that’s out there that’s made of wood, I did it,” Rigione said. “I try not to use too much of the store-bought stuff. I make my own things.”
Rigione has been decorating his home for Halloween for the past 26 years. The 77-year-old is a father of five, grandfather of seven, and great-grandfather of three.
“Every time I make something, it’s because of the kids,” he said. “I enjoy watching them.”
Heather Balchunas, arts coordinator for the Somerville Arts Council, said the local community looks forward to Rigione’s displays each year. (He creates a holiday display in December as well.)
“It provides some wonder and whimsy to the community,” Balchunas said. “It makes you smile.”
Here are some other local spots, both public and private, where you’ll find exceptional Halloween decorations this month.
You can walk through thousands of jack-o’-lanterns at the inaugural Jack O’ Lantern Journey at the Franklin Park Zoo. The attraction features a half-mile, tree-lined trail of 5,000 illuminated, jacked-up pumpkins that depict everything from animals and sea life to superheroes to iconic Boston images like Faneuil Hall and the USS Constitution. You’ll also find several themed areas, such as a “Pumpkin Carnival,” and pumpkin structures — it’s hard to miss the 15-foot-tall dinosaur and 23-foot-tall Ferris wheel.
Boston’s historic Beacon Hill is “magical” at Halloween time, said Patricia Tully, executive director of the Beacon Hill Civic Association, a nonprofit organization that focuses on community building, civic engagement, and historic preservation.
“People really do decorate their homes fantastically,” Tully said. “Especially around Louisburg Square. In past years, we’ve seen homes that have a light display where it looks like there are ghosts walking through their living room, beautiful pumpkins, and just really colorful decorations for the fall and Halloween.”
Beacon Hill even has been recognized nationally as a top trick-or-treating spot in the country. Tully said the neighborhood will see some 400 kids for trick or treating this year. Her organization works with the city to barricade some of the neighborhood streets between 4 and 8 p.m. on the holiday so the hundreds of children can safely collect candy.
26 Hillsdale Ave., Medford
Take a look at the photo above to meet just some of the ghouls and monsters you’ll find at Rich Sullivan’s house in Medford. In the past, Sullivan has filled his lawn — and windows — with items such as tombstones, witches, and demons. Sullivan told Boston.com Monday that his home’s exterior display is almost done for this year, and that it’s always a fun time.
26 Bainbridge St. and 50 Bainbridge St., Malden
Maryann Spinney, 72, said she’s been going all out with her Halloween decorations since she was 21 years old.
“Every year is different,” she said. “I never decorate the same.”
As a result of her decorations, the mother of four, grandmother of 18, and great-grandmother of three has to stock up on lots of candy before the holiday, but she said she’s happy to do it.
“Over 300 kids come here on Halloween,” she said with a smile.
Meanwhile, down the street at 50 Bainbridge, Spinney’s daughter Evelyn Anzalone has taken a cue from her mother, decorating her home to the max. It makes for a spooky stroll down Bainbridge Street this Halloween season.
Head to Kate Gourd Park — er, Kate Gould Park — on Main Street in Chatham for “Pumpkin People in the Park“ — literally people formed out of pumpkins depicting various scenes. It’s the reason Country Living magazine included Chatham in its list of small towns to visit for Halloween this year. Part of the Cape town’s Oktoberfest, the attraction is created by Chatham businesses and local groups, is free, and is on display through Oct. 23.
During the weekend of Oct. 26-28, this historic 20th-century property, the former summer home of one of the founding families of North Andover, will host several different pumpkin trail events for both adults and children. In preparation for that Halloween programming, the grounds and gardens will be decked out with 400 blazing jack-o’-lanterns.