Haunted Halloween begins in Bay Shore
Three ghoulish young lovelies were ready to contact spirits in the Haunted Garden.


Haunted Halloween begins in Bay Shore


ISLIP—On Saturday, Oct. 21, there were thrills and chills, but mostly lots of fun as the Haunted Halloween Festival kicked off in Bay Shore. The event drew revelers from all over the hamlet and beyond. 

The unseasonably warm evening saw a parade and red-carpet costume contest, with the parade starting on Shore Lane and Main Street at 4 p.m. There were also arts and crafts, a moon bounce, petting zoo and face painting in the Band Shell Park. In addition, “Thriller” dance routines were performed by Bay Shore school dance groups on Main Street at various times. 

The weekend’s event—sponsored by the Bay Shore Beautification Society, the Great South Bay YMCA, the Chamber of Commerce and Northwell Health—was the first one of this size, according to organizer Mary Louise Cohen. The first event dates back to 2011, with 2012’s being cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy and 2016’s being cancelled due to weather as well. “It’s a learning curve,” Cohen said, “but it’s been growing.”

Jaks and Linda Phillips of Crosley Automobiles led the parade in their decked-out Halloween mobile. Behind them, a Northwell Health van towed a float decorated with some of horror’s most famous characters while seasonal tunes played in the background. The opening number was “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”’s “Time Warp.” And, of course, there were the kids, lots of kids, and even fighting dinosaurs.

Later in the evening was the Haunted Garden tour, which was held in the Community Reflection Garden on Main Street and hosted by the Beautification Society and acted by the Bay Shore High School Drama Club. The creepy maze was great for children under 7. 

“It’s a joint effort by the community and the schools,” said organizer Harry Brown. 

Another organizer, Gina Lambert, described those taking part in the Haunted Garden as “a bunch of people who just love Halloween.”

Some of the actors, Sam Murdock, Robert Marsanico and Logan Dowd, helped make up a happy family in Psychoville.  Other participants included Caitlin Williams, Kareem Hyman and Kyanie Louis as the creepy clown. Jamie Navarro was one of those brave enough to enter. 

The Great Pumpkin Contest took place across the street. That event was co-hosted by the Multi-Cultural Committee and the Beautification Society and awarded first, second and third place prizes for best-carved pumpkin, best-painted pumpkin and best teal pumpkin. For those who don’t know, the Teal Pumpkin Project aims to include children who have food allergies and other special diets in the Halloween season.

“It’s really fun,” said Multi-Cultural Committee co-chair Tuere Morton. “Every year we get entries from all over.” Her committee receives donations from Coyles Ice Cream, Ralph’s Italian Ices and Willy Nilly.