via Ryan Hughes and
via Ryan Hughes and

Carving a pumpkin and hanging up a skeleton is plenty of decoration for many area families, but there are several houses that go above and beyond using their own creativity and hard work. In Clifton, the yearly display of horror at Dr. Gangi’s home office is back in all its glory, and various homes along Grove Street, Bellevue Avenue, and Orange Road are glowing with creative and spooky decorations.

For a slightly-scary, but mostly fun and family friendly trick or treat, locals should take a look at the fantastical gathering of pumpkin scarecrows, lorded over by a Pumpkin King. Ryan Hughes, a Glen Ridge dad and lover of all things Halloween, created this display after his wife nixed the more gory display he used to set up. The last few years have been about tweaking the pumpkin horde display with lights, sounds, and new looks for the Funkin faces. This year, the older of the Hughes children even created his own pumpkin, and he proudly poses with it for visitors.

pumpkin king in glen ridgeThis year, Hughes said the biggest new thing is customized lights he created himself. Each pumpkin has its own Arduino controlled LED circuit board which synches the lights and color sequences to music. How did he learn how to do all this? Hughes explains, “I took an “Arduino” class about two years ago at the Adult School of Montclair to get started and joined up with HacknCraftNJ which has been a great resource.” The lights, which dance inside the pumpkin heads to the Halloween music, help make the atmosphere fun and spooky and complete.

Visitors have been enjoying the display since early October, and Hughes expects to keep it up for a week or so after Halloween. Stop by on October 31st for Trick or Treating and to experience the extra treat of a fog machine and lots of company!

Visit the Pumpkin King and his minions for Halloween at 68 Benson Street in Glen Ridge. Want a taste of what you’ll see? Check out the video here. Leave your favorite Halloween haunts in comments.