by Tiffany Rivera | It’s not often that kids get to participate in spooky walks where Halloween decorations are age-appropriate for the whole family.

But that’s the case at the Jackson’s Haunted Cemetery on Abrew Street in Bay Shore (map below), a must-visit for local families come Halloween time.

It also helps support the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Rescue Ambulance Inc.

And there’s just a few days left to get over there!

Here’s how it works: Kids can walk through the entire lawn of spooky decorations and check out the larger-than-life pirate ship as well. Families are welcome to stop by during the day or the night; the entire lawn is lit up and the walk is certainly good for a couple goosebumps. 

This haunted cemetery has been put together by the Jackson family for over a decade.

“It’s all my husband Ed’s doing,” said Suzanne Jackson. “Of course it started small and has increased in size over the years. Ed is very into Halloween and just thought it was the cool thing to do. He starts planning the next Halloween right after the current Halloween.”

The family gets about 1,000 visitors from Oct. 15., and anywhere between 400 and 600 trick-or-treaters on Halloween, depending on the day of the week it falls.

“We have great neighbors and that helps,” Suzanne Jackson said. “My contribution is candy. I make up about about 500 individual bags for each child.”

The family also asks for donations from visitors for different causes

“This year … we chose the [ambulance company],” Jackson said. “They have helped me many times over the years and thought it was time to pay it forward.”

Laurie Hughes, the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Rescue Ambulance Inc. president, knows quite well the financial struggles of running the volunteer organization.

I was completely blown away by the generosity and thoughtfulness of Suzanne [Jackson] and her family.”

Hughes has been with the company for 12 years but the last few have been difficult; community donations are down and the town budget is very tight.

So more than ever, donations like this are a huge help, she emphasized.

“Jackson’s Haunted Cemetery is just another reason on why Bay Shore is such a wonderful place to live and work,” said Hughes.

Suzanne Jackson said the set building begins each spring for Jackson’s Haunted Cemetery.

“[Ed] starts creating new stuff probably in May and starts building the yard right after Labor Day,” she said “He does everything on his own. Everything out there made of wood, except the piano, was built by Ed. He used to be a contractor and is a meticulous carpenter.

“It’s just Ed and I doing this; we do not have any kids but love to watch the reactions of the many people that come through here each year.”

with Michael White