Adventures in pareidolia
This is not something special. This is the annual sighting of religious omens in North Jersey. In various years it has been toast, windows, bleeding statues. It seems to happen every summer, and it happens to draw the locals, mostly elderly Italian ladies and hispanic immigrants. Having worked in North Jersey for a decade, I no longer pay attention to these stories, because, like muggy days, frustrating Mets games and street fairs, they are part and parcel of every New York summer.
If people want to stop by some house and see a statue with an open eye or bleed or see the Virgin Mary in a piece of toast, well, that's just North Jersey.
The winking statue has gotten some play, but next year it will be something else. Some other manifestation of Catholic idolitry. It wouldn't be a summer without it.
Pareidolia, aka "seeing stuff in stuff" is by no means unique to North Jersey. Folklorist Mike Pinney of Texas A&M university has recently uploaded a huge collection of pareidolic images and simulacra from around the world.