CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Props, costumes and masks were stolen from a warehouse at the former Cresson State Prison.
The props were set to be used for an upcoming haunted house exhibit.
On Saturday, July 30, co-creator of Imaginarium Sanitarium Ryan Rader noticed shattered glass and missing items when he visited the warehouse that day.
“They took multiple masks,” Rader said. “[We had] a ton of Victorian costumes. Those were all taken.”
Altoona Police later shared security pictures of a red 2006 Volvo S60 entering and leaving the property that day where plastic skeleton props can be seen in the back-seat window. The pictures did not capture the car’s license plate, and the items are still missing.
Rader said anyone with information on the car or the stolen items should contact his tattoo parlor Sacred Keystone Tattoo in Altoona.
Rader and other co-creator Joe Pyzowski said most of their props and masks are handmade. Rader said he doesn’t understand why someone would steal items that he and his team of about 10 employees worked so hard on.
Both said they head to the warehouse to work on props and animatronics almost every night after their day jobs.
“Humans just don’t seem to be the coolest every time or just make great decisions,” Rader said. “I’m one of those people where if they would’ve broke in and vandalized [the warehouse], spray painted it, relieved some stress [or] whatever, I was 100% on board with that. Go ahead and do it, I can recoup from that. It was the theft that really got me.”
Rader and Pyzowski said the attraction will go ahead as planned with opening night set for Friday, September 30. The haunted house will be open every Friday through Sunday in October and Halloween night on Monday, October 31.
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Imaginarium Sanitarium tickets are available online for $25 per person per night. The exhibit will feature food trucks and will run on Fridays and Halloween from 7 p.m. to midnight and Saturdays and Sundays from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Rader and Pyzowski are still looking for actors, security, parking attendants, makeup artists and food vendors. All positions are paid, and vendors will not be charged. You can apply for the open positions and/or learn about becoming a food vendor on their website.