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NYPD boo! Slope’s 78th Precinct becomes haunted house for Halloween

Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

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Close the blast doors!: A cop dressed as a Star Wars stormtrooper hangs out with 5-year-old Sariah Dozier at the 78th Precinct’s haunted house event.
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Clowning around: A creep clown girl was one of many horrors waited in the 78th Precinct’s clown room to scare local kids.
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Silent, but deadly: Nine-year-old ninja Julian Skinner hangs out at the 78th Precinct’s haunted house.
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Cheese!: The 78th Precinct’s Sergeant Angelo Pirozzi dons a mask of unrelenting horror to strike fear in the heart of Park Slopers.
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Bloody good time: A vampire lurks in the subterranean depths of the 78th Precinct.
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Boo: Visitors to the 78th Precinct’s haunted house cower in fear.
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That thing: Whatever this thing is, it is at the 78th Precinct’s haunted house, and we hope it never leaves.

Call it a station house of horrors!

Park Slope police scared the pants off thousands of local thrillseekers between Oct. 26 and Halloween, transforming the already-creepy basement of the 78th Precinct’s headquarters into a true vision of horror full of off-duty officers disguised as wicked ghouls and a room filled entirely with creepy clowns that were no laughing matter, according to one cop.

“Downstairs is really gory,” said Sgt. Angelo Pirozzi. “You get a good scare going down there.”

Several celebrity musical guests also haunted the spooky Sixth Avenue slammer, including Ramones drummer and Brooklyn resident Marky Ramone — who showed up on both Wednesday and Thursday to lurk in a coffin — and Misfits bassist Jerry Only, who signed autographs Sunday.

Ramone volunteered to join in after hearing about the event a few years back, Pirozzi said, then recruited fellow lover-of-morbid-music Only to join him.

“They’re into that horror punk stuff, so Halloween and all that stuff is pretty intriguing to them,” he said.

Attendees lined up around the block to get in to the spooky station house — Pirozzi estimates around 5,000 people passed through the precinct’s doors — and say the whole thing was frightfully good fun, with a scare truly lurking around every corner.

“When we first went in there, you have to turn a corner, but somebody was right there and popped and scared me,” said Brownsville mom Tashenna Staton, who brought her 3-year-old daughter Iara Rollins.

The 78th Precinct has a proud history of going all out for All Hallow’s Eve, but had stopped staging its haunted house in 2008. That all changed once Deputy Inspector Frank DiGiacomo took over as commanding officer and brought the tradition back from the dead last year, giving his charges free reign to design the haunted house of their dreams, according to Pirozzi.

“The new boss, he’s a big Halloween buff and he thought the haunted house was a fantastic idea,” Pirozzi said. “He gave his guys a lot leeway to build it out.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Additional comments.
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