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‘Terror on Totten’: NYPD unveils spooky haunted house in Queens

Terror on Totten
The “Terror on Totten” haunted house is ready for the spooky season.
Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

Enter if you dare! The NYPD’s haunted house “Terror on Totten” opened its doors for the scary season at Fort Totten in Bayside, Queens, on Oct. 6.  

The free haunted spectacular is open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in October from 4 pm to 11 pm. 

It’s a labor of love for NYPD TARU Inspector Frank DiGiacomo,  the mastermind behind the eerie Halloween attraction.

“So with the haunted houses, we decided it’s a good way to get the community and police department together,” DiGiacomo said. “Most events for the police department are good for little kids. This is geared more for teenagers, older family type of event.”

The “Terror on Totten” haunted housePhoto by Gabriele Holtermann

DiGiacomo explained that it takes him and his team of 15 NYPD officers a year to design and build the haunted house, which spreads over two floors of a  parks department building that sat abandoned for 45 years.

“Obviously, we have a full-time job. So when we can, we build on our downtime,” DiGiacomo said. ” A lot of my guys are very talented. I have electricians, I have plumbers, I have carpenters, so we’re able to build this great place for the community.”

Halloween fans looking for a good scream won’t be disappointed. The spooky spectacle includes zombies, ghosts, killer clowns, and demon spawns, to name a few, and it comes alive with the sounds of chainsaws, screams, and thunderstorms. 30 NYPD officers lend their acting talent and, dressed in character, terrify even the coolest kid on the block. 

“We try the old ‘Let’s distract you and then scare you,'” DiGiacomo said. “So we put a prop there to distract you, and then the actors jump out and scare you.” 

The “Terror on Totten” haunted house is ready for the spooky season.Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

Last year, they welcomed 14,000 visitors, and DiGiacomo hopes they can beat the number this year. 

While the recommended age is 12 and older, it’s up to the parent’s discretion to bring their younger offspring. Those, who aren’t into the fright fest, can play less scary video games in the NYPD’s game truck.

For 17-year-old Sarah Johnson, the scariest part was the Vortex, a rotating tunnel. 

“I couldn’t walk,” Sarah said. Sarah and her friend Daniella Romero agreed that this year’s haunted house was much scarier than last year’s and highly recommended a visit.  

“You need to experience it,” Sarah said. “It was really scary.”

The “Terror on Totten” haunted house is ready for the spooky season. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
The “Terror on Totten” haunted house is ready for the spooky season. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
NYPD officers lent their acting talent to scare visitors of the “Terror on Totten” haunted house. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
The “Terror on Totten” haunted house is ready for the spooky season. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
A vortex tunnel is part of the haunted house.Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

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