Photos and Reporting by Abel Lockhart
Since the beginning of October, Manhattan has experienced a rush of strange visitors, and many have decided to stay! Townhouses across the borough appear to be the ideal haunt of these new residents, but it is unclear whether they are welcome guests or threatening loiterers. Our photographer set out on a mission to document their settlements and discover how members of the community feel about their sudden arrival. He began at the west side of 82nd street, and ran into quite the character! An orange skeleton with a jack-o-lantern head sat on the handrail of a pumpkin lined stoop, swinging its legs off the edge. It appeared to be in a rather good mood! Likely because Simon Wallace, its host, had designed such an appropriate space. And maybe because of the many onlookers and their showers of compliments.
Our photographer travelled to 519 Columbus avenue next, and found that the creatures have done more than find places in Manhattan to live-- they have found livelihoods! A skeleton named Jack stands on a street corner in front of The Consultant. You will never catch him without a bottle of gin in his left hand. And his right is always free, ready to pour each passerby a drink.
Jack enjoys sharing little tips about what the brunch menu has to offer! And friendly members of the community give him high-fives despite how often they come out painfully cheesy and generic. After all, he hasn't been in the city long.
Some townhouses in the city have only a couple of visitors, and they welcome them with modest decorations.
This ghost and her friend take a rest after a long of screeching at pedestrians.
Behind them, three other ghosts hang casually from a tree.
Shortly after taking these pictures, our photographer met Joann, a kind woman who pointed him toward the house with the most impressive scene-- and it was chaos! A troupe of Halloween monsters had completely infiltrated the front of the home Joann mentioned! A zombie stares menacingly at every passerby. A dragon guards its piles of skulls and bones. And the bats at this home don't sleep, they only scream at the werewolf-- which, admittedly, is a nice warning of the danger ahead. An elderly woman named Margret said that the owner of the home first welcomed the frightening visitors 5 years ago, and has prepared for their arrival every October since.
That sight was the last of our photographers night. But the next day he came across a rather spectacular, spider-webbed, stoop in Harlem!
Happy Halloween City College!
Rhiannon Rashidi, Editor in Chief, wrote this creative piece using reporting and draft writing done by Abel Lockhart, the photographer of these images.