Haunted house held at station





by KEVIN GROSS

Ghouls, ghosts and masked murderers were among the creatures that scared the visitors of a haunted house that was held for the first time in the lock-up of the 17th (Albany Park) District police station on Halloween, Tuesday, Oct. 31.

"This is the first time we are doing this, so we’re going with the flow and seeing what works and what didn’t," 17th District CAPS officer Anna Grassi said. "It looks really good so far."

Volunteering officers brought about 200 to 300 attendees in groups of five to tour the area that was adorned with "dead bodies" and gruesome imagery, as masked characters from movie franchises such as "Saw" or the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" emerged from hiding areas in the former holding cells. Games, photo props and treats for younger children were available in the rear waiting area.

"Cleanup of the lockup area took the most time for prep," Grassi said. "We had to make sure there were no documents, move the fingerprinting machine, look for things the kids shouldn’t interact with."

The lockup area was closed in 2011. Those arrested in the district are transported to the 16th District lock-up." The order (to close) came straight from headquarters," Grassi said. "Basically the city said they needed to cut down resources, between manpower, desk clerks, upkeep costs, and such."

Participating officers said that due to the success of the event, the district may create another haunted house next year.

"We didn’t know how the turnout might be, what with weather and the recent rain and all, but it’s been fun so far and the attendance seems great," Grassi said.