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Fresh Hell

A Guide to the 12-Foot Skeletons of NYC

Look who's skullking around the neighborhood.

When Home Depot first released their 12-foot-tall skeleton in time for Halloween 2020, it was the salvation of Pandemic Spooky Season, giving folks something to enjoy at a safe distance when trick-or-treating and costume parties were still a no-go. Every fall since then, they've sold out—even at a cool $299!—overtaking the suburbs like feral turkeys during Thanksgiving. But for city folk, street sightings are rare, so we've had to get our thrills vicariously through memes and meticulously-plotted TikToks

But there's no substitute for spotting a Super Tall Shaky Bones with blinking LED eyes in the urban wild, where you'd least expect it. The scare-city adds to the joy. Because you deserve the dopamine, we put together a map and list of Skelly locations in New York City. Call me Skellie Bly, call me Bone Didion: I personally hoofed, trained, and wheeled all around this town, like a Spooky-Man-Go fanatic, to give you the skeleton key to the city. We found him outside shops and restaurants; on rooftops and front yards, from Astoria to Bay Ridge. Go on a long bike ride, take a driving tour, or simply say hello to one if you're in the neighborhood. This map and list is by no means comprehensive, so please let us know in the comments if we missed anybony and we'll add 'em!

    1. St. James Place and Greene Avenue, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

With arms outstretched as though in greeting, this guy easily has a warmer presence than your last several Hinge dates. The tiny dancing skeletons lining the fence like homunculi are a nice touch. When I visited, a school kid walking by told their younger sibling that "skeletons are just like us if our skin fell off," and wow, so true. 

    1. Williamsburg Wines & Liquors, 431 Graham Avenue, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Perched outside a popular wine and liquor store on Graham Avenue, "King Kong," as they call him, has been great for business. "It brings the happiness of Halloween, and people just love it," owner Teresa Curcio told me. Yes, he's holding a panini from Anthony & Son next door. (It's the "FDNY.")

    1. Blank Street Coffee, 225 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 

If you've ever wondered, what’s the whole deal with Blank Street Coffee? Don't bother asking this guy, he doesn't even have a brain.   

    1. 518 Leonard Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Technically, this pirate-looking ass is the Home Depot 12-foot Giant-Sized Inferno Pumpkin Skeleton ($379). He still carries a torch for Bar Matchless and his wailing dirges can be heard late into the night.

    1. 438 Humboldt Street, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn

This is you getting caught trying to sneak home after staying out all night at Union Pool.

    1. 323 Beach 73rd Street, Arverne, Queens

It’s giving "Barbarian." Think you can hack it year-round in Rockaway? Think again! 

    1. 18-15 Harman Avenue, Ridgewood, Queens

Their sitcom, "Keeping up with the Boneses," airs this fall on Tubi.

    1. 461 Woodward Avenue, Ridgewood, Queens

Wow, Time Out NY just ranked these two the fourth-coolest Halloween 12-foot Skeleton and Werewolf duo in the world. There goes the neighborhood!

    1.  Brooklyn Heights Veterinary Hospital, 59 Hicks Street, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn

This is what owning a dog in the city does to a motherfucker.

    1. Water and Gold Streets, Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn

"Hey, get up here! I'm barbecuing ribs, and Vicki made a batch of her famous bonetinis!"

    1.  Greenwood Park Bar, 555 Seventh Avenue, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

"If you want a beer, you gotta know the password, pal."

    1.  403 Greenwood Avenue, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

Last seen wandering the streets at midnight, waiting for the new Taylor Swift to drop. 

    1. Hometown Bar-B-Que, 454 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn

"They took my meat!"

    1. SmoKing, 41-16 30th Avenue, Long Island City, Queens

SmoKing co-owner Dave Yaffi was turning on the LED eyes for these two sidewalk kings, purchased at the 25th Avenue Home Depot in Astoria, when I walked up. "I just like skeletons. I even threw paint on them to make it look like they came from the ground," he told me. "Customers love it, everybody loves it. You love it, you're writing about it!"

    1. 22-15 28th Street, Astoria, Queens

When Karen Karkatselos showed up to the Home Depot on Northern Boulevard to find they were sold out of 12-foot skeletons, she asked the manager if she could buy the one on the floor display. Now "Mr. Bones," "Mr. Inferno" (the 12-foot pumpkin skeleton), and "Ms. Haze," (the 12-foott Phantom Karkatselos ordered at 6 a.m. on July 15 right when it became available online), decorate her front lawn. The Halloween spirit supports a good cause, too—a sign on their gate advertises "Skeletons for St. Jude," which raises money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, with a QR code so passersby can make donations. 

    1. 211 14th Street, South Slope, Brooklyn

Don’t get caught in his web of lies!

    1. Ditmars and 27th Street, Astoria, Queens

A truly cursed tree!

    1. Colonial Road and 82nd Street, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

Gang's all here, even the 12-foot Hovering Witch.

    1. 209 Eckford Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

This broker's asking for a pretty steep fee...a single human soul!

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