Spook houses reopening amid pandemic

Local News

An actor depicting Frankenstein poses in the medieval Frankenstein Castle about 35 kilometers (22 miles) south of Frankfurt, Germany Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. For 42 years the castle stages spooky Halloween events with monsters and live shows on three weekends around Halloween. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

WEBB CITY, Mo. – Many spook houses in the area are set to open this week or are already open, including The Cadaver Zone and Fear Factory Haunt in Webb City.

With the pandemic ongoing, the spook house employees won’t be the only ones masked. As face coverings have become the new norm, it will be difficult to tell the scarers apart from the scare-ees this Halloween season.

So what precautions, if any, will be implemented to avoid the spread of Covid-19?

“We’re just recommending social distancing and recommending that people follow the CDC, state and local health department guidelines,” said Chas Ziulkowski, one of the owners of The Cadaver Zone.

“We’re not requiring masks, but we are handing out masks to anyone who wants them. We also have hand sanitizer… If you don’t want to wait in line, we give you a number and you can go wait outside,” said Jackie Dalton, owner of Fear Factory Haunt.

The pandemic has affected many businesses in an unfavorable way, while other business owners are seeing the post-quarantine period as an opportunity to draw in more guests.

“[The pandemic] actually seems to be helping [The Cadaver Zone] – people are tired of staying home,” Ziulkowski said.

Some spook houses are not reopening this season. Rafter L Haunted Farm in Pineville, MO, is staying closed this year due to “restrictions with covid and some family events,” according to a post on their Facebook page.

“When Covid hit, we still had planned on being open. However, though Missouri isn’t exactly pushing any type of mandates of masks and social distancing, we were going to enforce the masks and social distancing to those that attended and for our workers to practice it as best as they could,” said Kayla Lester, co-owner of Rafter L Haunted Farm. “However, we only have one person to work up front – we’re strictly volunteer – and that wouldn’t be enough to enforce those requirements.”

The Cadaver Zone reopened for the season on September 25 and will be operating until October 31. A portion of all proceeds will go to The Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.

Fear Factory Haunt is set to reopen on October 2 and will be operating until October 31.

Visit fourstatehaunts.com or spookthefourstates.com for more information and to discover other spooky attractions.

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