If there is one thing New Hope and Lambertville do well here, it's Halloween. With the history of hauntings, and witch craft Halloween is huge around here. Last night, I left my basket of candy out for the trick or treaters, and headed to Lambertville to have Samhain martinis with my friends of mine. There were literally hundreds of kids going door to door....the residents must go through tons of candy. Whole streets are closed because the crowds over flow into the streets. Kids, and adults alike are all in costume and the drinking and dinning establishments are packed to the gills. A good time was had by all, and it was great fun to sit and watch all the pomp and circumstance. Afterward, as is tradition here on this blog, I always like to share the Halloween House each year.
Every October for the last decade or so, strange happenings descend upon Lambertville, a sleepy New Jersey town located 40 miles north of Philadelphia. The epicenter of the weirdness is a tidy Victorian house, where it looks as if all the props and characters from a Tim Burton epic were air dropped onto the front lawn. But this is no Hollywood set, it’s the home—and vision—of artist Dolores Dragan, whose fantastical Halloween display draws thousands of viewers from all over. Though now retired, Dragan was an art teacher at the local school when she first had the idea for her ghoulish (but intentionally not scary or gory) tableau, which was inspired by a black light theater production she had a hand in creating.
What started as a modest array of elaborately decorated plaster-and-gauze, head forms and branch figures, blossomed into a cast of more than 90 characters. Soon neighbors began “hosting” some of her work on their properties and even adding their own creatures to the mix. Today, this little stretch of North Union Street is regularly rated as one of the best places to go trick or treating on the entire East Coast and has been featured on the TLC channel. Two years ago I had the privilege to talk with her when I was picture taking. Most of the characters are based on people she actually knows, and she adds one or two every year. When I asked her why she does it, she simply said probably no one has ever seen anything like this, and may never again.
I can say one thing....no denying her love of art, Halloween or talent.