If it isn’t the Donald Trump effigy that catches the eye, then maybe it’s that of Vladimir Putin.
Or even Kim Jong-un.
But it could also be Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or the bloodied up Lady Liberty on the operating table begging for someone to help her vote.
In all reality, it’s likely the whole package of political satire, under the moniker ‘Capitol Hill Lunatic Asylum,’ that catches the eye of young and old at the home on Union Park that has truly gone the extra mile this year for Halloween.
The creator of all this Halloween fun is a third-generation Southender who grew up in the home, but preferred to remain nameless due to the political nature of her Halloween theme.
The resident said she grew up at the Union Park home in a Syrian-Lebanese family during a time when the South End was a much different place, and her home was a rooming house. While her father drove a taxi, her mother would tend to the roomers.
While the resident started her creative Halloween displays in 2010 when she moved back with her husband from New York City, she said it was her mother who really began the tradition years ago. It’s something that she has continued because it always made children and adults smile, and that’s something that propels her onward.
“I’m really only continuing my mother’s tradition,” she said. “My mother used to decorate every window all the way up with the old fashioned light bulbs. They used to be perfect, every bulb perfectly placed. People would ask my mom why she did all that. She would say because it brings joy to people. That’s why I do it, too, because it makes people happy. Even before Trump was part of it and the political stuff, everyone was excited about it.”
The current display is a far cry from her original efforts, which featured cobwebs and tombstones, while she gave out great candy. Now, that has slowly morphed into a political Halloween statement like none other. Two years ago, President Trump made his first appearance as a caricature. Last year, he was a skeleton with a Trump wig.
This year, after a trip to Assembly Row’s Christmas Tree Shops in August – where the resident found a great deal on a haunted bride figure, she decided to go all out.
“I started in 2010 and every year it got bigger and bigger,” she said. “First I did the windows for two floors and then the whole building. I do Christmas too. I got tombstones and gargoyles and skeletons. Last year, Trump was just a skeleton with a red tie that said ‘High IQ.’ This year I decided to go all out. I was an actress so the creative energy has to come out in some fashion. I play ‘Thriller’ and Bach’s ‘Fugue in D Minor.’ It’s really all for the kids around here. I like to give the kids something they can be excited about. Every year we try to get more and more kids and we had 1,200 last year. It’s really become a destination like Beacon Hill now.”
This year’s display has a theme of a lunatic asylum, and Trump, Putin and Jong-un are placed on the bay windows above the garden. Below, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kelly Ann Conway act as nurses (one holding a strange yellow liquid that could be equated with the story about a type of shower in Moscow). On the operating table, Putin is preparing to dismantle Lady Liberty, who is shackled to the operating table and holding a sign that says ‘Help me vote.’
Every inch has a detail to be digested and processed.
The fun goes on and on and cobwebs and other Halloween décor ascend all the way to the top floor.
All in all, though it was exhausting, the resident said it all becomes worth it when people pass by and take it all in.
“This year was a whole new thing,” she said. “The tombstones and cobwebs were one thing, but this was much more. I believe whatever you can do to make this place better or you can make people smile – even for a second – you’re doing service. Life is what it is, but if you can help everyone smile a little bit – that’s a service.”