With the Halloween haunting season starting, many people may wonder what to expect before heading out for a frightfully fun evening during the COVID-19 era.
Now in its 10th year of chills and thrills, Madworld Haunted Attraction opened Sept. 11 with social distancing enforced in its queue.
“It was never really in our mind that we would close,” said Madworld co-owner Joseph Thompson. “When the pandemic started in March, all we could think of is, ‘Thank goodness this isn’t fall.’ Safety and health is Madworld’s first priority along with scaring and entertaining you. We always value keeping our employees and customers safe. We are an outdoor attraction, [and] we don’t have a lot of indoor spaces.”
In addition to social distancing within the queue, the haunted attraction is encouraging, but not requiring, guests to wear masks.
“We are only enforcing people keep their distance,” Thompson said. “Our recommendation is to do what you think is best for you and your family. We also understand that people don’t wear masks for different reasons such as religion, asthma and special needs.”
While masks are not required within Madworld, the haunted attraction is doing temperature checks and health screenings for all scare actors and staff, sanitizing high-touch surfaces throughout the night and eliminating scare actors coming into the queue lines. Visitors will also find hand sanitizing stations throughout the grounds and may request to only go through the trail with their group instead of exploring the attraction with strangers.
Scare actors have also been given the option to wear a horror mask with a cloth mask underneath for their own protection or to wear a screen-printed mask with makeup applied around it.
Sweet Dreams Scare House has also implemented changes this year to ensure the safety of its staff and guests when it opens Sept. 18. While this attraction will also require employees to submit to a health evaluation before work and will be disinfecting and cleaning flat surfaces each night, guests will be required to wear a face mask.
“We will be asking all our customers to wear face masks,” said Sweet Dreams Scare House owner Joe Kirk. “If they do not have one, we will sell them one at our gift shop. Signage will be posted for reminders as well as hand sanitizer locations.”
In order to ensure additional social distancing, Sweet Dreams has developed a half-acre of land to allow guests to spread out.
The haunted attraction will also be welcoming a group of suspension artists, which are performers who hang in the air by hooks inserted in their skin, back this year on select nights. In order to complete these performances, the suspension artists undergo a period in which their skin builds up a tolerance to the hooks and will not rip.
While both Wompus Woods of Cowpens and Nightmare Dungeon of Greenville said they are taking precautions for the coronavirus, they declined to comment for this story.
Ultimately, these haunted attractions in the area are striving to allow customers to have a ghoulishly good time while experiencing attractions and interactions they may have in a normal year.
“People can still expect an amazing time and experience,” Thompson said. “A great Halloween [and] fall experience.”
- 147 Country Manor Road, Piedmont
- Opened Sept. 11
- Half-mile haunted trail with escape rooms
Nightmare Dungeon Haunted Attraction
- 640 Old Anderson Road, Greenville
- Opened Sept. 11
- Two-story indoor haunted attraction
Sweet Dreams Scare House
- 250 Saco Lowell Road, Easley
- Opens Sept. 18
- Outdoor haunted attraction with suspension artists on select nights
Wompus Woods Haunted Trail
- 231 Parris Road, Cowpens
- Opens Sept. 18
- Outdoor haunted trail and hayride