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Lakewood's Cannon Avenue Halloween displays not a nightmare, but a sacred tradition

Residents decorate for Halloween together, bringing the whole street closer.

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — October is a busy month for the residents of Cannon Avenue in Lakewood. They only have a few weeks to set up the inflatable ghosts, pumpkin-headed skeletons, witches, ghouls, and goblins for their Halloween celebration.

It all started with Gina Bitterman and her husband more than 10 years ago. She's just getting started with her decorations.

"Our posable skeletons, we're going to have spiders crawling down, and a 20-foot cat people can walk through to get to the next house," she described.

Yes, don't forget the spiders! Neighbor John Fejes would make a good Spiderman.

"We're working on a 10-foot spider in the back," he said. "We already have a 20-foot spider, but we're making one that's going to fly off the trees at the kids this year."

Though yards on the street already look full, according to Gina and John, they have a long way to go.

If you have a bone to pick, no problem!  There are skeletons of all shapes, types, and sizes up and down Cannon Avenue. "Pirate Town" is home to Sarah Sherepita.

"We have a candy cannon that shoots candy at the kids," she explained. "We have fire breathing pirates so there's a fire show. It gets pretty chaotic!"

They even have a scary anchor, just like us! (Sorry, Russ...)

Residents of this street just love Halloween. Hundreds of kids will see dragons, goblins, and ghosts while loading up on candy, but choosing the costume is important.

Young Eva is ready for the big day. Her choice?

"Batman, because my friend is going to be Robin and my sister Kaykee is going to be Joker."

All this Halloween fun has build strong bonds along this street.

"We know everybody up and down here because everybody's putting up decorations," John said. "It's a joy."

Sarah adds the big numbers of people who visit give it a great vibe.

"It's like better than a block party!"

Finally, Gina, who along with her husband opened the Pandora's Box of Halloween celebration here, is proud of what the tradition has become.

"Every year it started getting bigger and bigger and it's turned into this," she said. "[It] makes me smile every year.

There's so much fun here, even the skeletons are smiling!