Golembiewski, Halloween, 2022

Masks made by the Golembiewskis hang inside the hall of masks at the family's  haunted house.

Boxes of Halloween masks, costumes and wigs cover the kitchen table and the living room floor as Mark Golembiewski dresses mannequins for his yearly walk-through haunted house in his garage.

“Halloween starts in June,” Sene Golembiewski, Mark’s wife, says with a laugh. “He’s like the pumpkin king.”

Since 2017, Golembiewski, with the help of his wife and kids, turned his passion for Halloween and horror movies into a tradition of decorating their east-side garage into a walk-through haunted house for Halloween.

Mitchell Golembiewski, 18, puts a moving eye onto a clown face decoration while helping his dad, Mark, decorate the family garage as a haunted house. Mitchell along with other family and friends will be actors inside the haunted house.

When the couple started dating, they didn’t have any hobbies.

“I don’t really have a hobby. I do computers. That’s my job,” said Golembiewski, a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “She (Sene) said, ‘no, we need to find you a hobby.’”

Sene Golembiewski, who works at Tucson Electric Power, pushed her husband to find a hobby. She similarly started outdoor activities such as gardening, hiking and decorating for her favorite holiday, Christmas.

“It was trying different things, and Halloween was it,” said Mark Golembiewski. “I got really excited and really into it.”

Mark Golembiewski glues a plastic eyeball onto one of his mannequins in his living room.

For him, Halloween season starts on Nov. 1, the day he begins mapping out haunted house plans for the next year. Golembiewski figures out his layout and design. He checks out “after Halloween” sales. By June, preparations “kick it into gear,” he said.

That’s when the family starts dipping into Golembiewski’s Halloween stash and painting masks, boxes and working on other items for the haunted house.

This year: a zombie graveyard for the front yard with a scary clown theme for the haunted house in the garage. And there’s a large spider above their front door.

Most of the decorations are bought from thrift stores, estate sales and “after Halloween” sales. The rest is made by the family.

Sene Golembiewski throws a spider on the roof while decorating the outside of their home.

Golembiewski’s search for a simple hobby has turned their home into a community hangout on Halloween night. Last year, about 300 people came through the family’s haunted house.

“It has definitely brought the community together,” Golembiewski said.

The couple will have their walk-through clown haunted house ready for Halloween on the corner of East 29th Street and South Regina Cleri Drive, in the Rolling Hills neighborhood on the east side.

Mark Golembiewski places an item in the hands of one of his mannequins while decorating his garage haunted house in preparation for Halloween.

Mark and Sene Golembiewski dress Mark's Ring Master, who is made out of PVC pipe, bedding materials and duct tape.

A zombie mannequin rests on a DIY fence created by Mark Golembiewski.

A person drives past the Golembiewski home as the garage gets transformed into a haunted house.


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contact Rebecca at rsasnett12@tucson.com

Photojournalist

Rebecca Sasnett has been a photojournalist with Star since 2019. Previously she worked as a freelance photographer for Arizona Athletics and USA Today Sports. She loves hanging out with her three cats and four dogs.