You are reading

Meet the Man behind the Spookiest House in Sunnyside/Woodside

Dan Maskara (Photo: QueensPost)

Nov. 4, 2013 By Christian Murray

The place is just creepy.

Guttural screams come from the lawn next to a coffin with a man’s half-dead head poking out;  skeletons and gravestones are strewn all over the cobwebbed front yard; and then the front door is boarded up with signs that read ‘no trespassing’ and ‘keep out.’

These are just some of the many items that saw Dan Maskara’s home, located at 39-45 45th Street, become a Halloween favorite Thursday night—and what led to his house being voted as the “Spookiest in Sunnyside/Woodside” by nearly 600 people in last week’s sunnysidepost competition.

On Halloween night, Maskara had two projectors playing classic horror films. He was showing The Skeleton Dance (a 1929 Disney classic) from his second floor window, and on a screen beside his house he had a super 8 projector playing movies such as Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Creature Walks Among Us and Dracula.

Maskara said that he has been decorating his house for Halloween and playing classic films for six years.

“It’s become a family project,” Maskara said, who works on his home with his four daughters.

He said he enjoys being part of the festive spirit that has made Sunnyside a Halloween destination. “The neighborhood continues to get more crowed every year with children—it is starting to look like mardi gra.”

This year Maskara estimated that about 400 children came through the streets of Sunnyside. He said that between 6:30pm and 7:30pm waves of children came down his street.

He said people are now coming by and saying: “I’ve been hearing about your house for years.”

Maskara was pleased to have been designated the winner of the “Spookiest House” competition, he said, since he doesn’t have that much of an opportunity to see what other people are doing.

Maskara said he enjoys the compliments concerning his decorations—although he had admiration for the house at 39-03 47th Street that came in third. “I thought it was going to be close.”

He wanted to thank the sponsors of the Halloween Contest, such as Bar 43, Arriba Arriba and Claret Wine Bar.

Note: Maskara has a Facebook page devoted to Halloween and his home at the following link.

email the author:


Click for Comments 
Amackassin Boy

Great job Dan – Herman the German would be proud… And 7TrainDelays (nice pessimistic name btw) – get a life.

Mike Flood

I’ve know Dan since we were probably around 7 or 8 years old. He’s always been funny. It’s really amazing how he hasn’t allowed life to take the “kid” out of him. My hats off to you Dan !

Mare Rosanoff

Great job on the decor Dan. What a wonderful thing to do for your kids and the entire neighborhood. After all, Halloween is a FUN holiday.



I mean seriously. There are people in this world that have to see real skeletons, bloodied, dead bodies, death, decay and starvation wherever they look.

Us spoiled, fat and contented Americans are just trivializing their suffering and pain with this halloween nonsense.


There’s enough real horror in the world. Why do people like to wallow in the phony kind?

Nicholle B.

Congratulations! The Maskaras are wonderful people, and it’s nice to see the joy they share with the neighborhood being recognized.

Dorothy Morehead

Congratulations, Dan. Love your house! There was such a crowd in front on Halloween Sophie and I couldn’t get to the door to tell you in person.


Wow, 4 daughters, way to go Dan.
Sounds like Halloween will soon arrive at his house, year after year, every day and night.

Elyse Orecchio

Congrats on your well deserved win, Dan! Thanks for making Halloween special for the neighborhood.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News