CLIFTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Halloween tradition in New Jersey has been taken down by politics.
Dr. Wayne Gangi said he is tired of being attacked by town leadership for his Halloween spirit, and has decided to pack up his ghouls and goblins and call it quits.
Children know it as the Clifton home on Grove Street where ghosts hang from trees, bodies lie on rooftops and spiders inch their way toward the door.
As CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian reported, he’s a dentist by trade and a graveyard groomer by night.
For 12 years, Dr. Gangi’s annual Halloween display has been the talk of Clifton, but now he’s disassembled the fright fest, claiming politics and city officials are ruining Halloween.
“Each and every year they do a little bit more to curtail or censor how I decorate,” said Dr. Gangi.
The city is demanding the doctor remove his displays from city-owned trees, but the problem is that’s where Dr. Gangi hooks his cables and he says it will affect his entire work of art, Dardashtian reported.
“All of the creatures that are strewn on my cable have to come down,” Dr. Gangi said.
Dr. Gangi claims this is just the city’s latest attempt to destroy his family of ghouls and goblins.
Last year, the city suspended parking in the area.
“People will stop, park their cars and it narrows the street,” city manager Matthew Watkins said. “We’re just trying to make a safe environment.”
Watkins calls signs on Dr. Gangi’s lawn, reading “Clifton Politics Cancels Halloween” and “Call The Mayor,” retaliation.
Meanwhile, the sight of Dr. Gangi taking down his henchmen has heads turning.
“This is something we look forward to every year and the town needs to leave him alone,” one resident said.
“I just enjoy coming by and seeing it and I think it’s wonderful, it’s the spirit of Halloween,” another resident said.
“I think it’s outrageous, how can you not like this? This is terrific!” one passerby told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.
As of Friday afternoon, the elaborate display that took two months to create was completely dismantled.
Clifton City Hall has been flooded with complaints from residents after learning Gangi’s display was down.
Watkins said Gangi can have a display as long as it doesn’t use the city’s trees, because “the law is the law,” he told Dardashtian Friday afternoon.
If Gangi had kept his displays on public trees, he would have been fined for violating a city ordinances, Dardashtian reported.
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