by David Croyle
A local Kittanning Borough residence had a lot of visitors last night… over one thousand of them to be exact. Most were fellow ghosts and goblins in search of candy and goodies from a local family who turned their Rebecca Street home into a house of horrors.
Greg Bradeis owns the house that has been getting holiday attention every October.
“We’ve been doing it for about ten years, since we moved back from California. They are really into Halloween in California, so the first year we moved here, we decided to do this,” Bradeis said.
Visitors found animated mechanical figures, genuine fire torches lit in front of the house, loud sound effects that could be heard a block away, smoke rising from the different displays, and even a ghost in the attic window.
“I don’t have no theme. Most of the design is basically from my children. They like a prop, and I buy the prop then they help out. I spend the whole day putting the project together just for trick-or-treating.”
While not suitable for younger children, the exhibit drew a constant flow of visitors.
“We have mechanical props that are animated. We basic general spider webs, pirates, just a multiple The big thing for me is the ghost in the attic. We just like doing this. A lot of lighting (effects).”
Bradeis resides in the house with his wife and three daughters ranging from age 6 through 15, who actively participate with him in the project. In addition, his nephew, Joey Bradeis, volunteered to come over from Ohio and serve as the Freddie Kruger candy dispenser.
“It’s a family affair!”
Bradeis said that in addition to taking a full day to erect, his family began after 8PM last night to disassemble the entire display for fear that various props would get stolen if it was left out overnight.
“We’ll tear it down tonight because of the expense of doing this. Otherwise it probably won’t be here in the morning. We probably have about $5,000 in props.”
In addition to the cost of props, Bradeis also spends money on candy for his visitors.
“We average anywhere from 500 to 1,500 children every year. It’s quite a bit. I spent over $100 for candy this year. It keeps going up for every year. I usually buy 20 big bags of candy.”
Bradeis said of all the props on display, he has one that is a personal favorite.
“We went with a hologram theme. My daughter picked out the witch in the front. A lot of the props take fog machines also that add to them. My prize possession is the gargoyle. They only made it for one season and that was it. So I got my hands on one. I am happy with that one.”
The sidewalk was lined with tiki torches whose flames drew attention to the property.
“I found those about ten years ago. They were on clearance. They are all beat up. They add to the effect. Something different than anyone else.”
The search for props continues with next year’s exhibit in mind.
“All year long we look for props, usually online. It will just be a home thing. It’s for basically everybody around here.”
Bradeis said that since he started decorating, other neighbors have joined in the holiday fun.
“Since we were the first ones to do it, if you look down the street, a lot more people are getting into it. It’s not competition or nothing, but a lot more people are getting into the Halloween spirit.”
While Bradeis put away his decorations last night, Kittanning Borough residents will be in full costume during tonight’s Halloween Parade, starting at 7PM in front of Hose Company Number 1 and processing up South Jefferson Street.