Sisters share spooky fun for Halloween

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Two Rome sisters and their local photographer friend are sharing a tradition that might be fun for families as the coronavirus pandemic reshapes daily life.

For roughly the last 15 years Amanda Cortese and her sister Shannon Cortese-Artigiani have gotten their family involved in costume-wearing activities complete with themed creations, family candid photos and a big reveal on social media.

In the past the family has done Wizard of Oz and Napolean Dynamite themes among others.

This year, for a bit of extra fun in addition to their holiday theme, with the help of family friend and local photographer Lisa Curtis, the sisters upped their game.

Curtis and the Cortese sisters trekked to a spooky spot by the railroad tracks behind RFA and did a photo shoot dressed as the “Grady Sisters” characters (the twin little girls that haunted the hotel) that were featured in the classic movie thriller “The Shining.”

The sisters already had the costumes from a themed dress up about five years ago, and were happy to be able to revive them.

Then, with the digital files in hand, “It just kind of went crazy. I loved playing around with it,” Curtis said. “There’s so much darkness … let’s do something fun.”

The images played off the natural gloom of a typical fall day in the Mohawk Valley region and created a true Halloween experience for the family who also had additional photos taken that will add to their themed big reveal on Halloween.

“We love Halloween” said Amanda Cortese who said that every year having a theme is a way to bring the family together.

Sister Shannon Cortese-Artigiani adds, “we try to think outside of the box” when it comes to holiday fun — whether it be Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas.

“For my family it gives us another reason to get together and have fun,” she said.

The sisters say that their family theme will be released today on social media.

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