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Halloween’s dark side

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Carnevil on 64th promises grisly, gory, ghoulish frights


By Cosmo Hadac

Those passing the home at 5716 W. 64th St. this month may see the grave of Pennywise the Clown or Freddy Krueger dancing to the Monster Mash.

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A bloodied Beetlejuice stands out in the street, greeting people in passing cars. –Supplied photo

What started out as a way to celebrate Halloween during the pandemic’s social distancing mandates has expanded into a nighttime block party of sorts—dubbed Carnevil on 64th Street.

“During COVID, when we could only talk to our neighbors from over the fence, we thought, ‘Wait. We should spread some cheer in the neighborhood,’” said Clearing resident Amanda Chaney-Phillips, the brains behind the spooky operation. “We already have tons of costumes, so we should decorate out front and dress up in costumes and post about it to the neighborhood groups and see who comes.”

That first year in 2020 was successful; but it was the massive growth during the second year of running this Halloween event that really surprised Chaney-Phillips, with more than 100 cars passing down the street.

That growth has encouraged her to continue to make the event even bigger.

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A Halloween celebration that ranges from creepy and spooky to disturbing and gory is set to make a return to Clearing this month. – Supplied photo

“When I was planning this year, I was thinking about how I can take this to the next level; so I contacted people in the neighborhood who have food trucks,” said Chaney-Phillips. Those food trucks include Taco Mario’s (Mexican), A Sweet Girl (cupcakes) and Happytime (American).

She emphasized that she wanted to help out local businesses that have taken a hit during the pandemic, including vendors of homemade crafts, like many of her family members. So the event will include artisanal wood carvings, bows, Halloween rugs and more.

There will be facepainting for kids for a $1 donation, as well as a donation box where people can donate so Chaney-Phillips can continue to run and grow the Halloween bash.

There are two different ways to engage with this event. On Fridays, Oct. 14 and 21, there will be an option to drive past the house, as has been the case in years past.

On Saturdays, Oct. 15 and 22, the street will be blocked off so kids and parents can come hang out with the costumed characters like the Sanderson Sisters.

Food trucks and vendors will only be there on Saturdays.

Carnevil of 64th runs from 7-10 p.m. on all days. Besides nearby street parking, there is a parking lot about a block away at 65th and Menard that visitors are encouraged to use.

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