Halloween horrors

Herald reporter takes on haunted firehouse


See more photos of the haunted firehouse here.

Heights, spiders and flying are some popular answers people give when asked what they’re scared of. But after going through the Brooklyn Avenue Haunted Firehouse on Saturday night, you could add getting chased by two men carrying chainsaws to my list.

I haven’t been scared too many times in my life, except when I saw “The Ring” for the first time in seventh grade, and every so often when my girlfriend gives me a dirty look. Other than that, I’m relatively unafraid.

I arrived at the Haunted Firehouse shortly before it opened at 7 p.m. last Saturday. Ron Garofalo, a former chief of the Valley Stream Fire Department, took Herald photographer Donovan Berthoud and me on a quick tour while firefighters were still setting up. The purpose was to get some good pictures, but I used the time to figure out my surroundings. I was trying to cheat.

As we walked through a tiny hallway, Garofalo said to me, “I’m not going to tell you where they’re going to pop out.” I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I didn’t realize just how many scary people would pop out at me during the real walk-through.

I went back outside and things got under way. A long line of people began to file in, and I soon started hearing screams coming from inside the firehouse. One of the first families out were the Tullos of Franklin Square. “It was very good,” Robin Tullo said. “It was scary.” Her son, Nicko, 9, said that the scariest part was the chainsaw room.

After watching dozens of people come bursting out of the firehouse with huge sighs of relief, I decided it was time for me to go through for real this time. I asked Alisa Palumbo and Sandra and Natalia Guerrero from Elmont if I could tag along with their group.

Despite their suspicion that I was part of the act, and was actually following them just so I could scare them when they least suspected it, they said yes. We made our way through the narrow hallway I’d negotiated earlier with Garofalo, but this time it was pitch-black and we had only an annoyingly faint strobe light to guide us. Natalia, 9, was out in front, which was fine by me.

We walked through several rooms, each with a theme — aliens, clowns, prison. Every so often someone would pop out wearing a black jumpsuit and a mask. The next time someone tells me they’re creeped out by something, I’ll be sure to tell them I was recently cornered by a six-foot-tall man wearing a black jumpsuit and an eerie pig mask.

After a few minutes of maneuvering, the four of us made it to a room that was completely sealed. A man in a mask came out and asked if we wanted to meet his friends. Next thing we knew, two men popped out of the wall, and there were chainsaws in our faces.

Halloween’s the greatest.

Check it out

If you enjoy a good scare and seeing hundreds of people in the Halloween spirit, check out the haunted house during its last few days — on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and, of course, on Halloween.

Hours are 7 to 11 p.m. on Oct. 26 and 27, 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 28, and 6 p.m. to close on Oct. 31.