Fort Worth Haunted House Opens With New Safety Guidelines

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A long-standing Fort Worth haunted house attraction has re-opened to the public but with enhanced safety measures, officials say.

Cutting Edge Haunted House has operated in Fort Worth for 30 years, according to co-creator Todd James. But there has been uncertainty with reopening during a pandemic.

“A good chunk of this year, we weren’t sure if we were going to open or not. I mean, it’s just like any other business,” he said.

In late September, the CDC updated its guidance on holiday celebrations as many people begin to plan for the fall and winter holidays. Specifically related to Halloween celebrations, the CDC reports many traditional activities can be considered high-risk for spreading viruses.

The CDC reports higher risk Halloween activities include participating in traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, attending crowded costume parties held indoors, going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming and going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.

James said their new safety precautions include protocols for guests prior to even stepping on the main lot, as guests as asked to first wait in their car until it is their turn to enter. Masks are required for guests and employees and at the entrance, temperatures are taken along with a COVID-19 questionnaire.  

“Once you come in here, we built a large pumpkin patch that’s socially distanced, so we let everyone sit in their own groups. Their own bubbles while we cue one or two groups at a time to go to the lot,” he said.

Anthony Littles is the head show manager for Cutting Edge and said when guests are going through the haunted house, they are expected to stay 15 to 30 feet apart from other groups. Groups as a whole are smaller this year and one person will have to wear a red glow-in-the-dark necklace to help spot other groups easier, Little said.

“That’s so people can social distance themselves on their own. Not to mention, we have our security force and other stage managers,” he said.

The entire walkthrough, which is typically an hour-long, is now about 40 minutes. Littles said as they do their part to keep guests as safe as possible, they’re asking guests to do the same.

“We’re all in this together,” he said. “We want to keep moving forward. I’m not trying to sound like a politician or anything, but business has to go on in some form whether it’s much smaller than what you’re used to, but business has to go on.”

James said in years past, they could expect between 500 and 1,000 people to come through the show each night. It has been capped at 25% this year.

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