The Smoke Signal

Calabrese’s creepy carnival

River Vale resident designs and builds Halloween fright fest on his front lawn

Elise Schicker

Elise Schicker, Staff Writer

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Since they were babies, River Vale resident Scott Calabrese’s children were carrying severed heads and limbs into the front yard from the garage.

“You know, the typical stuff every kid carries,” said Calabrese.

For 26 years, Calabrese has constructed and set up Halloween displays on his front yard almost every year. The setup takes him about a week and a half to finish.

“This year, I started right after Christmas because I had to design the carriage and the ticket booth,” Calabrese said. “I built those in my garage.”

Practically all displays in his front yard are created or designed by him and some are even recycled from past years.

“This one, I got from some company, and she’s actually an old ghost maid underneath here and I just put this outfit on her. She’s got this long dress under here and grey bonnet from an old Victorian maid,” Calabrese said.

According to Calabrese, the maid and others like her were used in many of his past productions.

For past Halloweens, he has done themes such as zombies, a graveyard, and a pirate ship. Calabrese chooses a new theme each year.

Calabrese says that this year’s theme was inspired by the movie “It”. However, he wanted to do something less mainstream, so he chose a carnival theme.

“My cousin and I started doing this at his parent’s house when we were 14 and 15 years old, so that’s what got us started,” Calabrese said. “What we could make out of [what we had]. It was kind of cheesy back then; humble beginnings we’ll say.”

Calabrese hopes to spread the news about his haunted house and looks forward to Halloween this year. He even hinted at having a few live people come out to scare trick-or-treaters.

“My favorite part is when people come,” Calabrese said. “It makes me crazy to see how crazy people get with it, they just love it. And it’s just something I do.”

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Calabrese’s creepy carnival