Rogers Park Halloween display attracts neighbors for scary celebration

Chicago News

CHICAGO — In a dazzling display of demented decorations, ‘Dead on Damen’ is a destination for Halloween trick-or-treaters and they are hosting a big party Sunday until 8 p.m.

You can step into a creepy circus, a butcher shop and a tea party of dismembered dolls. Other options include the invasion of spiders and a pumpkin patch with a towering inferno skeleton named Gladys.

It’s all on display for ‘Dead on Damen’, masterminded by Jessica Bernardi and her husband Jacob Smith, stretching the front lawn outside the condo building where they live in the 7500 block of North Damen Avenue.

Bernardi said the couple is able to assemble the display for the event in five days.

They’ve been hosting the event for years, though 2021 is just the second year for the “official” destination.

“It’s been a lot of trial and error, what works and what doesn’t. Keeping an eye out for things like one of the stores closed in the mall, that’s where we got the mannequins,” Smith said.

The couple is raising money for the Epilepsy Foundation of America.

In 2020, the display was ransacked with some decorations stolen from the couple. Bernardi said the community came together to rally with them and have made this year’s event bigger than ever.

“It’s just a fun holiday and it just shows people having joy which I love,” Smith said.

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