hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

October 24, 2013

Getting scared for a good cause

Halloween haunt collects money for wounded soldiers

By Bruce Amaro
Correspondent

---- — Many houses across the city are decorated for this ghostly season, but Jeff Quaglietta’s is different.

It’s quite spooky, but not gory.

There are plenty of creepy noises and shadowy figures drifting through these deep dark woods — an appropriate theme for Halloween.

Quaglietta and his family and friends celebrate Halloween with their Spooky House display, but it’s not just to entertain neighborhood kids.

Quaglietta has always enjoyed Halloween. For the last 17 years, he and his relatives and friends have made the Quaglietta house at 17 Lyons Farm Road in Bradford the ghoulish go-to place in Haverhill. Quaglietta and his team of helpers do their best to scare anyone willing to visit their frightening display in the woods in his backyard.

Admission is free, but this year the event will ask for donations from visitors to support a fund for military personnel wounded in action.

“The charity we’ll be collecting for is the Wounded Warrior Project,” Quaglietta said.

The one-day event will be Saturday, Oct. 26, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Police Department has allowed a one-day rain day of Oct. 27.

Halloween has always been Quaglietta’s favorite holiday and was one of the first events he looked forward to when he bought his first home.

“It’s one of the first things I did when we bought our house,” Quaglietta said. “As soon as we bought the house, I knew what I wanted to do, and we began decorating when that first Halloween came around and have ever since.’’

They put out the typical Halloween fare of ghouls, ghosts and skeletons, and in the woods behind his home he created a trail of fright about 600 feet long that winds through the acre of property.

Quaglietta builds everything by hand, often with the help of his son Kane, who also participates in the live displays along the trail.

“We have images hung in trees and bushes in the woods and have volunteers walking silently around in the dark of the woods making noise from the shadows,” Quaglietta said about the spooky show.

As they enter the woods, visitors will follow a trail lit by pumpkins that sets the atmosphere for the event. The pumpkins will be lit and set on posts to guide people along the path.

Throughout the darkened woods, visitors will see small scenes and sets with actors dressed as ghosts, zombies, skeletons and other ghouls. The scenes will depict graveyards, witches and the typical scare fare always produced by Halloween night.

Quaglietta has a group of about 35 people — family, friends and volunteers — who join in every year to help with the event.

“I don’t create any gore or pain,’’ he said. “We stay with the traditional spooky stuff to create some fun. We want this to be fun, not painful.’’

IF YOU GO

What: Spooky House display to support the Wounded Warrior Project.

When: Saturday, Oct. 26, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Rain date is Oct. 27 at the same time.

Where: 17 Lyons Farm Road, Bradford.

Admission: Free, but donations will be collected to help wounded military personnel.