Home Jersey shirt Brick ‘Stranger Things’ Halloween house spotlights charities

Brick ‘Stranger Things’ Halloween house spotlights charities


BRICK, NJ — Melissa Casqueira describes herself as one of those “over-committed” students — volunteers, charities, she even founded a nonprofit while at Kean University.

“My happiness is driven by helping others,” she said Monday. That’s why Helmetira’s holiday light show at the family home in Brick Township is more than just a light show: it helps her fulfill that need to help others.

The Holiday Light Show helmet is all decorated for Halloween – Melissa Helmet’s favorite holiday – in a “Stranger Things” theme, a tribute to the Netflix show.

“I think I binged the new season which came out in two parts, in one day respectively. I felt like the show was getting super scary, more like a horror movie rather than a drama this year , so it would line up perfectly with Halloween!” she said.

Melissa and her husband, Manny, host the light show at their home at 843 Downey Ave. at The Brick for a few years now on Halloween and Christmas. Their 6-year-old son, Andrew, helps with the decor.

The current display includes just over 100,000 lights. Manny – her favorite holiday is Christmas – does a lot of the decorating and Melissa takes care of the computer programming. Their friend, Danny O’Shaughnessy of All Shoreline Renovations, is donating his time and a team to help the family install the house wrap, in support of charitable efforts. “He’s been helping for a few years now,” she said.

“(Manny) loves being outside during the show and talking to all the people who come here to support us and our cause. He’s a social butterfly,” Melissa said. “I hopped on decorating it a few seasons ago…I took the display and turned it into a synced, radio-broadcast event.”

This year, that includes syncing with the theme music to “Stranger Things.” Casqueira said he found the show’s soundtrack on a website that lists soundtracks for dozens of TV shows. They’ll also have a special guest this little Wednesday and Saturday: local cosplayer Jayne (@famousjayne07 on Instagram) will be dressed as Eleven from the show, posing for photos with people stopping by.

“Jayne contacted us before the show started when she saw that our theme was Stranger Things,” said Casqueira. “She dresses like different characters from movies, TV shows and video games, like awesome characters. In her mail, she included several pictures of herself dressed as Eleven from Stranger Things. She’s definitely going to be a huge success.”

The most important part, of course, is donations for Lead U, an organization of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide. The organization’s donations are allocated to local school districts for assemblies featuring Lead U and its efforts to reach and help teens in crisis. They can be found at www.leaduthere.com.

The Casqueiras accept donations via sptsusa.org/halloweenvia Venmo @casqueiraholidaylightshow or in front of the house in the trunk at child height.

Casqueira said he received support from a local mother, Brooke Poppe from Mama Makes. Poppe created a fundraiser for the show and was due to deliver the money raised on Wednesday.

The show will run from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. every night until Halloween, and Casqueira said she will be handing out treats on Halloween, the last day of the show.

Those who want to help support the light show itself can order custom shirts and other items from the family business, The Casqueira Holiday Light Show, Custom Shirts, and Customizable Craftsthat they started this year.