NAUGATUCK — Anyone looking for a bit of a fright on Halloween night — and a cup of cider or chili — need look no further than the corner of Quinn and Chestnut streets. That’s where they’ll find Wacky Alan’s Haunted House.
Described, affectionately, as a little bit wacky by his friends, the mastermind behind the haunted house is 59-year-old Alan Musbeck.
For 16 years, Musbeck has been getting into the Halloween spirit at his home at 156 Quinn St. It’s a tradition that began when Musbeck first moved to Naugatuck from Shelton, where for 13 years he helped organize Halloween activities at the Boys and Girls Club.
Musbeck’s neighbors on both sides of his Naugatuck home would host Halloween activities for the neighborhood. His neighbors eventually stopped, but Musbeck kept the tradition alive.
“I kept going with it,” he said. “I like to make the kids happy.”
Musbeck started off by using just his porch, but the Halloween tradition has grown every year since.
“Everybody just keeps coming back,” said Musbeck, who works in construction and built the haunted house.
Musbeck’s Halloween festivities have become a staple in the neighborhood, where Halloween night turns into a big get-together and police assist with the traffic.
The quaint and potent haunted house, which is open Halloween only from 6 to 9 p.m., packs its share of scares, but Musbeck has plenty to offer besides a frightening escapade. There will be a DJ playing live music, cups of hot or cold cider and chili, and, of course, candy. Admission is free, but donations are accepted to help maintain the tradition.
Over the years, Musbeck has had plenty of helpers to assist him in carrying on the Halloween ritual, including 22-year-old William Nichols.
Nichols, who lives five houses up from Musbeck, first started helping when he was 11 or 12 years old and the festivities were smaller, he said. Then, he said, Musbeck started building.
“That was our thing on Halloween,” Nichols said. “I’d rather do this then go out and get candy.”
Nichols said he continues to help year after year because of how passionate Musbeck is, and he wants to ensure the tradition lives on for the neighborhood.
After 16 years, Musbeck isn’t showing any signs of slowing down any time soon. When asked how long he planned to continue his Halloween extravaganza, Musbeck replied, “As long as I’m around.”