TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Shadow Asylum in Terre Haute is out to scare anyone who walks in its door.
However, before your first scream, its employees, all 70 of them, must put your safety above anything.
Co-owner Jared McCullough has been in the scaring business for about 22 years.
"Scaring people is a lot of fun. It's a lot more work than what you think it is. But it is a lot of fun, you get to let your creative side go and do some things that you wouldn't normally get to do," McCullough said.
Shadow Asylum follows specific state guidelines to keep its visitors safe, for example; an exit sign every 50 feet, a fire extinguisher every 100, and emergency lights and smoke detector in every room.
It's not just the hardware that goes into a good scare house.
Workers must be trained in what to do, if you freak out.
They also train in acting and radio procedures.
"There's so many preparations behind the scenes to make this attraction safe for the people that they will never see, until there's an emergency and when there is an emergency, they'd be amazed at how fast we can get everybody out of this building," McCullough said.
The state fire marshal inspects public haunted houses every year.
"Technically, you're not allowed to open to the public with out that permit," McCullough said.
Then, it's up to the fire department to make sure a haunted house is good to go.
"No open flames, no smoking, no smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, all the materials, flame retardant," Terre Haute Fire Chief Jeff Fisher said.
Shadow Asylum said fire retardant is one of the most important precautions and put it on everything.
It's a thrilling time.
"Things can happen. But if you do your homework, and you did right, you can make it a fun, safe environment for people," Chief Fisher said.
Haunted houses like Shadow Asylum work all year to make sure no scary situation goes unplanned.
If you have any questions about a haunted house in your area, you can call the state fire marshal at (317) 232-2222.
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