Arts & Entertainment

Celebrities, Fans Converge in Westfield for Scary Good Time at Monster Mash Mayhem

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A volunteer ghoul from Cranford High School tries to spook Nick Brennan. Credits: Erin Scialabba
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Michael Jackson impersonator MJX and his dance crew. Credits: Erin Scialabba
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A mummy lurks in the crowd. Credits: Erin Scialabba
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Attendee Paige McCarson, who traveled to the event from South Carolina, wears a beach-themed costume to represent her home state. Credits: Erin Scialabba
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WESTFIELD, NJ — Fans of “The Walking Dead,” “Ghost Hunters,” “Ghost Hunters International,” “Haunted Collector” and “The Addams Family” had a chance to meet some of their favorite celebrities Oct. 12 at Monster Mash Mayhem, a party and fundraiser to help the family of 2-year-old Max Brimhall, who recently underwent surgery to remove a grapefruit-sized tumor from his kidney, as well the kidney itself.

Party-goers got to dance with zombies, enjoy dinner and live entertainment, take part in a Monster Grand Prize Raffle and enter a Halloween costume contest, as well.

Jayne Gradel, a Westfield High School student, is a fan of Ghost Hunters and often ghost hunts with her friends. Her favorite part of the night was meeting Brett McGinnis from Ghost Hunters Academy.

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“I really felt sorry for the boy, knowing that he's only 2 years old and fighting for his life," Gradel said. “I wanted to help out, so I passed out flyers.”

Paige McCarson came from South Carolina after her daughter surprised her with tickets. The two met Ghost Hunters star and Monster Mash organizer Bruce Tango several years ago on a ghost hunt.

“A benefit for a little boy and a chance to celebrate Halloween? It’s right up my alley,” said McCarson.

In addition to Tango, party-goers met with Joe Chin of “Ghost Hunters International;” Felix Silla, who played Cousin It on “The Addams Family;” Kylie Szymansky, who plays Penny Blake on “The Walking Dead;” Mike Koske, who plays 42 different zombies on “The Walking Dead;” Brian Cano from “The Haunted Collector;” Mike Christopher from “Dawn of the Dead;” and Brett McGinnis of “Ghost Hunters Academy.”

Several paranormal experts and entertainers were also on hand, including CC the Huntress, a paranormal hunter and TV personality; Gentleman Jim, an Elvis Presley Impersonator; MJX, a Michael Jackson Impersonator; and Radio Personality Rock with the Shock.

Students from Cranford High School played the parts of monsters and zombies throughout the evening, and actors from near and far provided additional ghostly antics.

Natalie Pastrof, a Crandford High School drama student, volunteered for the event and created her own costume—a bloodied zombie with one cat-eye contact lens.

“I like scaring people and I like anything to do with acting,” Pastrof said. “I think it's an awesome way to raise money for a good cause.”

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