McKinney Fire Department Cracks Down on Haunted Houses

Homeowners must obtain permit to turn residence into haunted house

By Amanda Guerra
|  Monday, Oct 17, 2011  |  Updated 11:53 PM CDT
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McKinney is enforcing rules that require all haunted houses to get special permits.

Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News

McKinney is enforcing rules that require all haunted houses to get special permits.

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The house of one McKinney man will be short some thrills and chills this year.

Scott Rauch turned his entire home, inside and out, into a haunted house last year.

"The front yard was a full graveyard scene; we had walking zombies," Scott Rauch said. "And whenever you enter the backyard, we had a huge maze."

The McKinney fire marshal is enforcing rules that have been in place for a few years that require permits for all haunted houses.

"If you've been in a haunted house, you know as soon as you go in there, you lose all concept of which direction to go," said Andrew Barr, fire marshal spokesman.

People who want to host a haunted house need to have the correct safety measures and equipment in place.

Rauch said the upgrades would cost him close to $3,000.

"I needed fire extinguishers and certain water hoses," he said.

Rauch said 200 people went through his haunted house on Halloween.

"I've already had a lot of the neighborhood kids asking me about it, which when I tell them, 'Not this year; we'll try and do it next year,' they are disappointed," he said.

But Rauch said he would rather the fears be fake than have something truly go wrong. He said he plans on hosting his haunted house next year -- with all of the correct safety measures in place.

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