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Haunted houses emphasize safety for patrons and actors alike

Scares and screams are welcomed, only when for the right reason
Haunted house safety is crucial for patrons and actors
Haunted house safety is crucial for patrons and actors(Chase Gage)
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 10:01 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Haunted houses want their customers scared but in the right way.

A pair of Region 8 attractions love hearing screams, but don’t want patrons fearing for their safety.

During the Halloween season, the two haunted attractions will see thousands of customers. Those customers will be scared by ghosts, ghouls, monsters, and butchers, but owners never want them to be scared they’ll be harmed.

Ellen Dalton, co-owner of Pumpkin Hollow, said she goes through several measures to ensure safety for all.

“We want people to get scared, but in a fun way,” Dalton said. “Some people get really scared, but that’s okay. We want them to come out laughing or crying, either one.”

To keep everyone safe, Dalton said Pumpkin Hollow employs off-duty police officers to monitor both the entrance and the attractions themselves at all times. Additionally, there are supervisors in each haunt that keep an eye on patrons.

All haunted houses have emergency exits and fire extinguishers in case anything happens.

However, Dalton said in over 20 years, there have never been any serious issues outside of a few obnoxious customers.

“Knock on wood,” she added.

At Scared City, owner Scott Baney echoed Dalton’s sentiment.

At his haunted house, there are supervisors in every attraction, and special entrances and exits for staff to use if there’s ever a problem. Much like Pumpkin Hollow, though, Baney said he’s never really had any issues.

He said in 17 years, he’s only had a “handful” of issues, almost exclusively from patrons that appeared to be under the influence of alcohol at the time.

For Scared City and Pumpkin Hollow alike, the biggest threat seems to be patrons harming actors, not vice versa. Baney said he’s had multiple actors punched, slapped, or scratched by scared (or intentionally misbehaving) customers. In response, he’s instructed his actors not to get too close to anyone at the attractions.

When looking for a good scare, no one wants to experience real fear. This Halloween, everyone will play their part in making sure thrill-seekers and costumed actors have the fright of a lifetime and make it out to tell the tale.

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