Coronavirus leaving haunted house events in jeopardy

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 5:42 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Coronavirus has the future of one Halloween tradition up in the air, haunted houses. Workers at Garrison’s Haunted are starting their preparation for the haunted house now. They said it’s hard to scare people from 6 feet away, but they will if they have to.

New this year, face masks will be mandatory. People will still go in with their groups, but the ones waiting will spread out outside.

Garrison’s Haunted will also follow any CDC guidelines. The haunted house raises money for the town’s volunteer fire department. A lot of the people doing the scaring are department members.

Last year they brought in more than $10,000. Leaders said that money goes a long way since they’re a smaller department that doesn’t get a lot of funds.

“We rely on that money,” said Assistant Fire Chief Marv Trimble, with Garrison Fire Department. “Our taxation is not high enough to get all of the things that we need. We used to fundraise for the things we wanted, not the stuff we needed. Now we’re at the point where we have to fundraise for the stuff we need.”

Trimble says the money isn’t worth putting people at risk. “Firefighters, first responders, we’re public safety entities, and we want to make sure people stay safe,” he said. “The public staying safe means more than the extra money we raise.”

One thing they are looking at this year is having more automated equipment inside the haunted house scaring people. They hope to have a decision on if the haunted house will go as planned sometime in September.

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