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Hempstead's Haunting Fun [Video]

Haunted Hempstead has become the go-to trick-or-treating hot spot for thousands of people from all across the region.

 

For the past 25 years, thousands of visitors from all over the San Fernando Valley have been making the trek to Agoura Hills to go trick-or-treating on the 5700 block of Hempstead Drive off Forest Cove Lane.

The tradition began back in 1987, said former resident David Dietrich, who was 5 years old at the time. He returns every year to help his parents decorate for the holiday.

"It started with four houses," he said. "Our neighbors bought this big sheet of styrofoam and we all decided to cut out some headstones. It kind of grew from there. Now it seems it's become a criteria for anyone who moves onto this block that they have to decorate for Halloween."

Dietrich said that on average his family goes through anywhere from 36 to 42 bags of candy.

At the height of the evening, Dietrich compares the area to Main Street in Disneyland as thousands make the pilgrimage from house to house.

Sharon Ayars and son, Jake, from Oak Park decided to hit the neighborhood before dark as a preview run. "We heard from a friend that this is the best place to come for some Halloween spooky fun ... We plan to come back later," she said.

Streets leading to and from Hempstead were blocked off and members of the Agoura Hills CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) managed vehicle and human traffic in and out of the area. 

Tony Wertenberech, CERT logistics director, said the team has been setting up off of Hempstead for the past six years to maintain a fun and safe area for trick-or-treating. A first aid station was also established at the entrance to Hempstead., but Wertenberech doesn't recall any major calamities.

"It's a good place; it's a happy place," he said.

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