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Jailhouse rocked

Kids, costumes abound at SCV Sheriff’s Station’s Haunted Jailhouse

Posted: October 28, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 28, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Kids dance during a Halloween costume contest at the Haunted Jailhouse event hosted by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station on Sunday. Photo by Jim Holt.

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The annual Haunted Jailhouse event hosted by the Santa Clarita Valley’s Sheriff’s Station is a scary affair but, as hundreds proved Sunday, it’s also fun, energetic and for at last one high-ranking officer assigned to the dunk tank — wet.

“This is definitely a tradition for people in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said event organizer Deputy Joe Trejo of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “And this is our 24th year.”

Every year at this time, deputies unlock the jailhouse doors, transfer their prisoners to the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station and invite people to visit the jail — if they dare.

“This is the only attraction that scares the begeebers out of people,” Trejo said, referring to grisly Halloween scenes staged inside a jail decorated by the SCV Boys and Girls Club.

For the hundreds who make the annual neighborhood pilgrimage to the station on Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard, deputies offer them a variety of attractions.

One returning patron parent was Joe Nocella, who said: “It’s always been a great day when they’ve had it in the past.”

Kathy Schimmels, also a satisfied returning customer, said: “It is a must-see and a must-go to.” She recalled the first time she took her daughter to the jailhouse. “She was terrified. She said she’s not going in there again. She came out clutching the arm of the person she was with.”

This year, both she and Joe Nocella came to watch their respective daughters — Jessie Schimmels and Lexi Nocella, both 10 — dance in one of the shows.

“We love the Haunted Jailhouse,” said Jacqueline Hill, owner of Elite Dance Studios, who choreographed, dressed and applied the elaborate makeup for dancers ages four to 19.

“We have an exclusive booking with the sheriff for this event every year,” Hill said, as her dancers finished a Halloween-themed dance to much applause.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, along with the Santa Clarita Valley Boys and Girls Club, the City of Santa Clarita, and the County of Los Angeles hosted this year’s Annual Haunted Jailhouse Halloween event.

Sunday’s event included: law enforcement displays, a bounce house,music, dance shows, Halloween costume contests, plenty of food and game booths and a dunk tank.

“Acting Captain Robert Lewis got dunked a couple of times,” Trejo said. “He went swimming.”
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