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Nightmare On Bainbridge Street

Evelyn and Mark Anzalone's home at 52 Bainbridge St., Malden. (Greg Cook)
Evelyn and Mark Anzalone's home at 52 Bainbridge St., Malden. (Greg Cook)

Every town it seems has that one house, that one neighborhood that goes all out for Halloween. In Malden, it’s Bainbridge Street.

“I’ve been doing this for about 20 years now,” Maryann Spinney says. She began when she was living on Beach Street. “I think because it was my husband’s favorite holiday. So I really got into it,” she says. Ernest, “He’s gone about 16 years now … He said Halloween was more fun. I think it was because of the kids. He liked to see the smile on their faces. And their costumes. He got the biggest kick out of that.”

“I make my characters,” Spinney says of the foam heads she costumes in clothing from Goodwill, many of which remained in storage this year because of Hurricane Sandy. “I don’t buy them because I like making my own thing. I don’t like to be like anybody else.”

When her daughter and son-in-law Evelyn and Mark Anzalone moved to Bainbridge 16 years ago, they transplanted the family tradition there. A couple years after her husband died, Spinney moved to Bainbridge too and joined in. Over the past five or six years, more and more neighbors have gotten into the act. Michelle Corbett, who often turns her yard across the street into a haunted trail (Hurricane Sandy washed out this year’s plans), says, “I guess you could say it’s a friendly competition.”

And it's an oldtimey way of being neighborly. “Nobody does anything, nobody knows anybody anymore, nobody knows their neighbors,” Mark Anzalone explains.

He adds, “We start Christmas decorations next week.”

Maryann Spinney's home at 26 Bainbridge St. (Greg Cook)
Maryann Spinney's home at 26 Bainbridge St. (Greg Cook)
44 and 46 Bainbridge St. in Malden. (Greg Cook)
44 and 46 Bainbridge St. in Malden. (Greg Cook)
44 and 46 Bainbridge St. in Malden. (Greg Cook)
44 and 46 Bainbridge St. in Malden. (Greg Cook)
54 and 56 Bainbridge St. in Malden. (Greg Cook)
54 and 56 Bainbridge St. in Malden. (Greg Cook)
Looking down Bainbridge Street from numbers 58 and 60. (Greg Cook)
Looking down Bainbridge Street from numbers 58 and 60. (Greg Cook)

This program aired on October 31, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Greg Cook Twitter Arts Reporter
Greg Cook was an arts reporter and critic for WBUR's The ARTery.

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