“Spooky Bob” Inspires Sherman Oaks Haunt

One man's dream of creating nightmares on a large scale opens its doors on Sepulveda Boulevard.

Freighting kids and adults was something "Spooky Bob" Koritzke really loved to do every Halloween.

"Bob's idea was entertainment. He wanted to entertain people," said Jennifer Grogg, co-creator of Forbidden Haunt. "He was in business for 19 years. Kids loved his haunts and he thrived off that."

Bob died two years ago, at the age of 50, after suffering a heart attack.

"We were all very upset when we got the news that Bob had passed... the last words he told me regarding our Halloween spook house was 'next year is going to be a lot different,'" said Jiovanni Yacobellis, co-creator of Forbidden Haunt.

A lot different because he wanted it to be a lot bigger -- that's why five of his friends have picked up where he left off.

"If he was here, he would have been very proud by what we have achieved," said Grogg.

What was once a backyard Halloween haunt is now a large 8,000-square-foot circus tent. So big, it needed a permit by the city.

Inside several spooky attractions from a closed-lid casket ride, a maze made out of recycled material and a scary circus act

"Bob inspired me to expand this event in the way that we have," Yacobellis said. "When I worked with him, there was no haunted house that was as good as his in the area."

The attraction is already up and running, scaring kids from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. to midnight on weekends.
 "We're here because we like to do this. We like to give back to the community, which was what made Bob such a great person," said Yacobellis. "I hope that I am able to keep the tradition alive and have people enjoy the Halloween season in a safe and fun environment just as Bob (would have) had."

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