Hurricane Sandy struck enough fear into area residents' souls last year to replace any Halloween fright that might be looming. And Gov. Chris Christie even decided to postpone Halloween in New Jersey after the superstorm hit.
In fact, the threat of Sandy served as more than enough impetus for
the Rumson Simonelli family to try to disband their famous annual Halloween
maze on Park Avenue. And, whatever they couldn't salvage, which was most, ended up strewn in pieces. This year, while the Simoellis still decorate for Halloween, there will be no maze. It was sacrificed to Sandy.
Dad, Pat, last year told Patch it takes a couple of months to put what was the largest free haunted Halloween attraction in the area all together. He said he, his two sons Vinny and Angelo and daughter Tonian usually start assembling it in early September and work on it on and off on weekends until Halloween.
And, on Halloween night, the creature feature in many years past was not only filled with inanimate ghastly ghouls of the night, ranging from evil clowns to zombie babies, but it is also filled with live actors, including the Simonellis, family and friends.
It's a family affair, Pat said, adding that it has been a unique bonding experience for him and his kids.
A plumber, Pat and the kids used PVC piping and insulation to craft a lot of the monsters and ghouls featured inside the maze, and there were always a host of scary surprises for those who dare enter, not to mention thick fog and sound effects enhancing it all.
Pat said that the line to enter the free maze usually ran all the way down the street, along with the dense fog emanating from the back yard.
This is the first year in the five they've been constructing the ever-growing attraction on Park Avenue that the attempt could no longer be made. They lost too much of it to revive it this year.
Patch got some photos of the nearly complete maze in the daytime before Sandy struck last year. Take a look at the gallery above to see some of what you'll be missing.