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Haunted House Owner Says COVID-19 is the Real Scare This Year

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Halloween is just a couple weeks away, while many cities still don’t know what they are doing for trick-or-treating, some Halloween attractions like haunted houses, have a plan on what they will do this year in the midst of the pandemic.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Halloween is just a couple weeks away, while many cities still don’t know what they are doing for trick-or-treating, some Halloween attractions like haunted houses, have a plan on what they will do this year in the midst of the pandemic.

The Slaughterhouse is still open and scaring people this whole month. But they aren’t the only haunted house in town, Linn’s Haunted House isn’t opening this year because of COVID-19, which the owner said is the scariest thing this season.

“I didn’t want to put on the people that go to my house, my family, and take a risk even have one person got it and died, I’d never forgive myself,” Linn’s Haunted House Owner Merlyn Linn said.

This will be the first time in its 36-year history that Linn’s Haunted House, in the basement of Linn’s Super Market, will be closed.

Linn said it would be too hard to make sure the attraction would be safely disinfected if he were to open.

“So how do you stop in going through in clean after the first four eight or 10 people. It’s impossible,” Linn said.

The Slaughterhouse says they have invested in a machine to do the cleaning for them.

“An electrostatic disinfectant unit, which allows us to fog out the attraction, both inside and out throughout the course of the night,” Slaughterhouse Creative Director Ian Miller said.

Miller said his employees will be double-masked, “Protective mask as well as their theatrical masks throughout the showtime. And there’s also social distancing measures inside the attraction for our staff folks before, during, and after the show.”

And guests will be temperature checked, provided with a mask, and required to sign up for a time slot online.

“They arrive within 15 minutes of their time interval, and there is virtually no wait after that point in time, and then separated via those time gaps,” Miller said.

Miller said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, operation of the Slaughterhouse was essential this year.

“It’s not an option for us to not operate this year so that’s why we’re going above and beyond with our protocols because we are a seasonal attraction at this point, so October is our life,” Miller said.

Linn said because he is retired, not opening the haunted house won’t hurt him financially but it will hurt his employees.

“Because these people are used to this extra job, I mean they needed the money. But I just felt that I had to. I mean I don’t think there was any if ands or buts, about it. But the health of people and people I got working, some have been with me since I ran the haunted house. And you know I don’t care to have something that happened to him,” Linn said.

Linn said he will be open again next year. The Slaughterhouse is open every Thursday through Sunday until November 1st this year.