They are ethereal. They are ephemeral. They are eerie.

They may look strangely humanoid but they are not of this earth.

Once each year around this time, they show themselves to mere mortals in Lambertville outside the home of their creator, artist Dolores Dragan.

Because of them, the home she inhabits with her husband, Ed, on North Union Street has become known by locals as the Halloween House.

A gallery of ghouls has their candle light ceremony disturbed by an evanescent human (?) visitor. Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Med

The impressive display consists of 40 to 50 compelling characters of various shapes and sizes, bathed in black light, each based on a specific event or person from Dragans life, a friend, a family member, an art student whom Dragan taught while working in the public school in town.

Psychotic sisters disturb the silence of the night playing together on one accordion. Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for

She began presenting the display more than twenty years ago before she retired from teaching. The design of her creatures is elaborate and intricate.

Phantasmic figures fill the front porch, the front yard, and wind around a path alongside the house, and this year theres something new. Most of the figures have a roof of one sort of another over their heads.

Macabre mourners sit at a wake for one of their own while observed by shadowy figures at the side curtains as mysterious light flows across the bottom of the surreal scene.Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Med

Well, Im doing it because of the weather, Dragan said. The kind of weather were having, the climate change, has changed the whole thing.

In previous years, she and her husband would scramble to cover up as much as they could when rain came. With this years arrangement, theyve solved that problem.

Things are undercover. so I dont have to be concerned about covering them like I did in the past, said the artist.

She says it took about a week to get all the creatures, canopies and curtains, and ghostly lighting in place, working around the recent heavy rains our area experienced as fallout from Hurricane Ian.

A spell is cast by two conjurers amongst the ravens. Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Med

Last year speaking of her work, Dragan told NJ Advance Media, It feels more of a mission than a display. I want to create something for people to remember and to treasure.

I want them to have an experience when they come here I want them to take it with them.

She also wants to benefit others in an additional way. Front and center theres a collection jar for The Lambertville Community Kitchen, run by Centenary Methodist Church down the street. Dragon says every penny collected goes directly to them.

Thats been going on for a number of years, Dragan said recently from her back porch. Its a community kitchen in town that feeds the elderly They get to associate and to visit with other people you know, both food and company.

Dragan promises she will continue the time-honored tradition and her mission for as long as I can breathe.

Scroll for more photos:

Fiendish faces blur and multiply in time, practicing black arts under the black lights.Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Med

A peculiar bird-like being answers to a brood of hungry hatchlings.Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Med

Is this delicate creature simply resting or lying in eternal rest? Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Med

Mysterious moving lights surround psychotic sisters. (Animated GIF.)

A head in a jar seems strangely not out of place. (Animated GIF.)

Macabre mourners at weird wake. (Animated GIF.)

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Michael Mancuso may be reached at [email protected]