Haunted houses prep for a safe spooky season with new guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic
BATON ROUGE - As we wait for the doors of haunted houses to open this Halloween season, their operators prepare for a new kind of scare.
They're trying to figure out how to keep both guests and ghouls safe with COVID-19 in the mix.
Haunted houses, like 13th Gate, are currently closed, but operators say they are working to make all of the necessary changes to comply with the State Fire Marshal's Office.
"You shouldn't be scared of the haunted houses this year. We're making them very safe and we're making them COVID-free," State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said.
But there's nothing scarier, Browning says, than getting people sick.
"We want to give them all of the tools and information so they can operate a safe COVID-free business, but also to protect the people that come into the haunted house."
Under the governor's current orders in Phase 3, haunted houses are not among the businesses allowed to reopen. However, the operators of indoor amusements like these can submit a proposal to be given special permission to open.
This October there will be a few changes, including fewer people to start.
"In addition to that, we're recommending that folks develop a system where they schedule times for people to come. It might just be easier in maintaining social distancing where people don't have long wait times. Also, all of the same measures that you see everywhere else."
Browning says these measures will give people a good, safe spook this Halloween season.
Haunted house operators can find out how to submit requests to open online at on opensafely.la.gov in the document for "other amusements," or by clicking here.