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Don't Let Haunted House Safety Scare You

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WILSON — This weekend, millions of kids will pack haunted houses for a good Halloween scare. But how can parents make sure the houses of screams are safe?

Wilson's Jaycees Haunted House is the perfect place to go for Halloween, and Friday night plenty of people paid good money to get drawn in.

Let's face it, we go to be scared, but no one wants to get hurt. That is why haunted houses in our state have some tough guidelines to meet.

"Before we are able to open our house, we are inspected by the local fire marshal, by the electrical and building inspector," Jaycees member Odis Daughtridge said.

Legitimate haunted houses have a lot of fire extinguishers and smoke detectors and the exits should be clearly marked. The fabric is treated with flame retardant chemicals.

In the Jaycees house, even the unlevel spots on the floors and walls are taped to keep visitors from getting hurt.

"It takes a lot of work to make sure the wiring's right, everything is up to code and everything works properly," Jaycees member Mike Lindsey said. "Even the minute details like one little nail hanging out of a door frame. We have to make sure they're all gone."

Of course, the visitors cannot tell it, but during regular hours more than a dozen volunteers are behind these walls ready to help in case of an emergency. Thursday night, a young boy got a little too scared and Jaycees had him out of the house in less than 20 seconds.

For the sponsors of the haunted houses, reputation is everything. If we know we're safe, we'll come back next year for more.

Organizers say it's a good idea for visitors to know where the exits are before they go in. They also discourage young children from entering, since they could get hurt in the dark.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
Brian Bowman, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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