Security Costs End Wildly Popular Haunted House In Sherman Oaks

SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA) — A wildly popular Halloween tradition will go to an early grave in the San Fernando Valley.

Boney Island in Sherman Oaks, a free Halloween haunted house festival in Sherman Oaks, has delighted thousands over 20 years in Sherman Oaks. An estimated 50,000 people came to Boney Island, said Rick Polizzi, who put on the elaborate display each year.

The cause of death? The weight of the world. In the wake of terrorist attacks involving trucks being driven into crowds and the Las Vegas shootings, the LAPD had told Polizzi he would need to add more security to Boney Island – at least 11 off-duty police officers and an installment of concrete barriers.

“They were estimating it was gonna be between five and $10,000 a night, so was gonna be, you know, 70 to $100,000 for the whole run,” Polizzi said.

Preparation for Boney Island typically begins as far back as August. It features a 30-foot tree house, animated skeletons and water fountains choreographed to music. Boney Island was famous for not being as scary as other haunted houses, but still fun.

“I totally get it. In light of what just happened recently I understand that all public events now are going to have heightened safety measures and I totally support that,” one neighbor said. “I just wish that there was some sort of middle ground for a neighborhood event like this.”

The end of Boney Island hits Polizzi and his daughters even harder than most of the fans who attended every year. His daughters are in their 20s, but are taking the end of Boney Island pretty hard.

“They were crying about it and I didn’t think they would have that reaction so that made me feel even worse,” Polizzi said.

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