Haunted forests changing the way they scare in the Tri-Cities due to COVID-19

Local Coronavirus Coverage

TRI-CITIES (WJHL) – According to the CDC, haunted forests where appropriate mask use and social distancing is enforced is considered a moderate risk activity when it comes to COVID-19.

Local haunted forests are changing the way they’re scaring their participants this year to comply with CDC guidelines and some are even using the virus to their advantage, making it a part of their overall theme.

“This year since we have COVID running rapid through the United States and our country we decided to play off of that and come up with our own virus that’s called X-31,” said Starr Beverly, the owner of The Dam Haunted Woods.

Though X-31 is supposed to give you a fright, haunted attractions in the Tri-Cities are taking COVID 19 seriously.

“This year we do have to social distance our lines for people that come in,” said Beverly. “Whoever arrives in a car together is who can go through together. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance, exit, and concession stand, and all of our employees will be wearing masks, even our zombies in the woods will be wearing masks.”

Beverly also says employees will be subject to temperature checks.

Meanwhile at Hales Community Haunted Forest:

“Patrons coming in they need to wear masks,” said Manager Kathy Shephard. “If they come in and they don’t have one we have a box of them.”

Hales Community Haunted Forest has several activities that aim to scare.

“We have four attractions this year,” said Manager Robb Phillips. “So we have the haunted forest attraction itself, we have the haunted escape room, we have the haunted museum, and of course, we have zombie laser tag.”

Though, capacity in each attraction is limited.

“Normally we would have 12 people going through a scene and now this year it would be six at a time,” Shephard said. “If it’s a whole family together they can go in together.” 

Both of these haunted forests say because of social distancing measures, lines may be a little longer this year but the scare factor will remain the same as years pasts.

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