A Haunted house that’s been in the area for more than 20 years won’t be open for the season tonight. City leaders and an insurance rep claim safety hazards got in the way but the attraction’s owner claims that’s not true.
It’s the spooky start to the season that wasn’t for the Charlotte Haunted House. They got shut down yesterday after two city council members and an insurance adjuster did a risk inspection.
"Things were blocking hallways and some lights weren’t on,” says co-owner, James Atwater.
The inspector advised the city clerk to shut down the house over safety concerns.
"Unfortunately you know we weren't done making everything safe, we weren't done building so yeah there was a whole lot of hazard that we haven't been taken care yet because we weren’t done,” says Seth Stoller, a volunteer for the haunted house.
Atwater says the inspection came as a surprise and says they have not been able to get a hold of the list of safety hazards, "They've kind of hee-hawed around it not giving it to us."
"One of the city council members has the list but they didn't see it was necessary to let somebody know from the haunted house so we could fix those problems,” Stoller added.
The haunted house has been around for more than 20 years and its run strictly by volunteers. The house is located at an old school and connected to the town’s activity center. The activity center main source of funding comes from the haunted house.
Atwater says he doesn’t know how they center will be able to stay open, "Without this money it's going to closed down."
This is the first time the house has had any problems.
“It just so happens that the people that were up here they've been against the haunted house for a long time, they don't like it in the community,” says Stoller.
Atwater says he’s angry with how everything took place, “I’m pretty upset because it was done behind our backs and no one was notified."
People from all over come to the haunted house and last year they had more 1,700 people.
"I'm very angry really; I’ve put 15 years into working in this haunted house,” says Atwater.
"Everybody that volunteers we just want to make a positive influence on the community,” says Stoller.
We contacted some of the city council members but weren't able to get a comment from them. The haunted house will be closed for the rest of the season and owners say the future of the house isn’t looking good either.