TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – With Halloween just days away, haunted houses are getting ready for the big night of fright.
One spook-fest on Long Island is not only scary, but supports a good cause, too.
A local artist and his family are the inspiration behind the Franklin Square Horror Show.
The glowing skeleton is your first clue that it’s a strictly enter-if-you-dare show, where inside even the portraits come alive with creatures born from hell. From chained, still-living victims to swinging bloodied bodies, there’s simply no escape from the terror.
For 21 years now, neighborhood kids have squealed in delight at the haunted house that’s actually built into the side of a home on Norbay Street in Franklin Square.
Decorative painter Joseph Allocco loves nothing more than warming up his blood-smeared fake chainsaw in advance of what, for him, is the biggest holiday. Throughout the year, he hand-designs most of the spine-tingling props or modifies hideous exhibits that he buys from other collectors until he’s sure they’ll draw a gasp.
“The creativity of it – I always loved Halloween, I always loved being an artist. I was into creature features when I was younger, all that kind stuff,” Allocco says.
But when he and his wife learned their son, Joseph Jr., had autism and cerebral palsy and began years of intensive treatment, the project took on new meaning.
“I see a lot of the good that these different organizations do for my son. With my Halloween event, I say you know what this is an opportunity to give back to these organizations,” he says.
The haunted house tour is free, but Allocco has collected thousands of dollars in donations to support autism and cerebral palsy research.
Putting on the spooky show is now a family affair, and Joseph Jr. loves it.
“I like to see everybody get scared and stuff,” he says.
The grotesque “IT” clown is already preparing for a special visit.