Although Halloween this year may be a little different, local scare attractions like The Straw Maze and The Haunted River are not giving up.
The Straw Maze and The Haunted River are giving residents a chance to get their “spook” on while taking precautions to ensure their guests a scary and safe experience.
Dallin Lochridge, general manager for The Straw Maze, explained the changes being made.
“COVID-19 has caused us as a company to re-evaluate and re-write our policies and protocols, in many ways improving our operations,” Lochridge said.
Everything has changed.
“Though our customers may not notice many of these changes as they are more internal, groups are spaced by us as they enter,” Lochridge said. “The Straw Maze has happily served the community for 12 years. Patrons shouldn’t be afraid because The Straw Maze is outdoors and has plenty of space to maintain recommended social distancing.”
Lochridge encourages all customers and employees to follow all federal, state and local mandates to ensure a safe and fun experience.
James Stoker, manager of The Haunted River, shared similar sentiments.
COVID-19 lockdowns have made many families beg for “something fun and safe after a long quarantine,” Stoker said.
With this being The Haunted River’s second year of operation, they owe much of their success to word-of-mouth, regular advertising and perhaps even to COVID-19 itself.
“The community should not be afraid to come see us as a result of these precautions,” Stoker said. “We would beg to argue that if anything, it is good to get out and do something in the fresh fall air. Releasing those endorphins, laughing hysterically, getting some exercise and spending quality time with friends and family are so good for one’s mental health.”
To ensure a safe experience, they encourage masks when social distancing cannot be maintained. Special sanitizing stations have also been set up where each group is given a sanitized lantern to light their way.
In the end, it’s all about the experience, Stoker said.
“We just want to see people leave the real world behind for a few hours and step into our world of spooks and entertainment that we have created,” Stoker said. “It is magic.“
Based on these precautions, students like Palmer Giblette, a sophomore studying computer engineering, said “I would go to a haunted house because I trust people and their decisions to do the best they can against this virus.”