The Haunt in Wyoming opens amid pandemic

Kent County

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The popular Halloween attraction The Haunt in Wyoming is back this year despite COVID-19 concerns. 

It will be different because of the virus. The staff made noticeable changes to help keep people safe. 

“I’m not really looking to try and make anyone come to The Haunt this year,” CEO Doug Shelden said. “That’s not the reason I’m opening. The reason I’m opening is basically because there’s a lot of people out there who want to get away. They want to get away from the world right now.”

Shelden has slashed the attraction’s typical occupancy load to 25 percent. He says the action has a dual effect, creating a much safer environment and also a horror fans dream.

“By allowing far less people into The Haunt this year we can space everyone out much more than we have in years past,” Shelden said. “It’ll also give people more time inside the attractions, there won’t be groups bunching up or anything like that.”

Single tickets cost $30 and drop to $25 if purchased in a group of six or more. The Haunt is encouraging it’s guests to buy tickets in advance on their website to schedule their trip. Tickets can still be purchased at the door but there is no guarantee space will be available. 

“If you buy a ticket online, you are added to a queue line where we will then text our guests when it’s time for them to come inside,” Shelden said. “You can’t wait outside this year. Our guests will need to wait in their cars or somewhere offsite. We don’t want people bunched together.”

Shelden says the many changes are just as important to the actors inside the haunted house as they should be to the guests coming inside. Actors, regardless of costume, will all wear masks of some kind and will not get as close to guests as they may have in years past.

“We know our guests love this type of thing. While it will be different this year, we just ask that everyone respects these changes because we all need to stay as safe as we can,” Shelden said. 

The entire attraction takes about 45 minutes to get through. High touch point areas are sanitized by staff routinely about every 27 minutes. The entire haunted house is disinfected after every two groups that pass through it. Making a lot more work for the staff but creating an environment they believe is as safe as any, if not safer, but much of the responsibility also falls on the guests, respecting the new safety guidelines.

“We’re doing everything we can to make it safe but just like any other company out there – any other business that’s opening. There’s no way to be perfectly safe from COVID,” Shelden said. “We ask for respect. We don’t want anyone fake coughing on our actors or coming if you’re not feeling well. If you’ve been in a place where you know some ones had COVID, or you’ve travelled, please just hold off on coming to The Haunt this year.”

There are five different themed attractions inside the haunted house this year: Blood Manor, Outpatient, Aftermath, Frostbite and Sinister Circus.

“You’re going to be very entertained,” Shelden said. “We hope to scare you at times.”

The Haunt is located on 28th Street between Burlingame and Michael avenues in Wyoming.

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