Decatur haunted house making you "Scream," keeping you safe


Some haunted houses in Central Illinois were shutdown due to safety regulations, but one local spook house said they have no skeletons in their closet. They're transparent about the measures they take to keep the screams coming, while keeping customers safe.

This past weekend was opening weekend for Scream in Decatur and more than 1,200 people dared to walk through the haunted house. Organizers said it's their job to make people scream and keep them safe, but also customers' jobs to follow the rules.

"If they'll go through at a normal pace, enjoy the scares, get scared, have fun, we've done everything we can do safety wise," explained Gary Moore, Director of Scream.

There are emergency exits, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and a sprinkler system. No sprinkler system and it would be closed like the Gilson Haunted School and Fright High in Abingdon in Knox County.

"As we build every year, safety is number one," Moore said. "We don't want anybody to get hurt."

Customers walking through need to be careful for their own safety and for the safety of the actors.

Kay Swinehart dresses up and greets customers when they first walk into the house.

"I've gotten hit twice in the face," Swinehart said. "They get so scared they come back and they back arm me or something."

Gloria Russell's job is keeping an eye on safety.

"I check on the actors probably 20 to 30 times a night," Russell explained. "I check to see if anything's fallen apart that somebody might get hurt on."

Swinehart has never gotten seriously hurt partly because actors can't touch customers and customers can't touch actors.

"It's a real good combination if everyone keeps their hands to themselves," Russell said.

A good and scary combination. Moore said that every Wednesday he walks through the haunted house and do safety checks to make sure that everything is ready for the next weekend of scares.

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