STATELINE (WIFR) – It’s a scary situation for the owners of some local haunted houses forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars in safety repairs.
Matt Thomann says he happy to open the Karnival of Karnage on time this year in Belvidere. The Boone County scare house was forced to install a major sprinkler system to get up to state fire safety codes.
“The life quality requirements are pretty hefty,” says Thomann, “so if you want to have a covered haunt indoors you’re going to have a lot of expenses if you don’t go into a building that has that already.”
The scare house is on the Boone County Fairgrounds which doesn't have plumbing so in order to power the sprinkler system a local fire station sent a truck to provide water. Thomann says the new sprinklers cost the haunt nearly 20 thousand dollars.
“It’s a pain on the balance sheet,” said Thomann, “but it’s not difficult or stressful. We knew it was coming.”
Rockford’s only haunted house, Twisted Crypt on East State Street, is up to fire codes according to Rockford’s Fire Department.
In fact the department says they haven't had to force a haunted house in Rockford to make a safety upgrade in over two years.