Haunted house organizers in Abilene get creative with design during pandemic

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – It’s been a place where firefighters work and an event center, but now the old fire station on Mulberry St. is getting spooky.

Doug Hickson, who owns the space, spent years as a child going through haunted houses, but now he’s on the other side of the screams.

“From going through the houses to now getting to really recreate them maybe a little bit scarier now that I’m all grown up, and kind of now what it takes to scare somebody,” said Hickson.

Hickson and his team have turned the station into a haunted house, but this year it’s not just scares his team has to keep in mind, but also the pandemic.

KTAB/KRBC’s Jessica Ranck goes through haunted house

“Designing the haunt has been really unique this season,” said Hickson. “We want to make it comfortable for people but also keep their safety and their health as well.”

Hickson says his team is ramping up the safety precautions because of the pandemic, starting with the overall design of the house.

“With being such a big venue we’re able to open up our walls, have a lot bigger walls for our people coming through,” said Hickson.

While the actors inside will be wearing masks that are meant to scare, those walking through will be asked to wear masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

“Being able to scare from afar is something that we are able to do to keep everyone safe and healthy,” said Hickson.

Even though the actors will be keeping their distance, they’re still expecting screams.

The Halloween Haunt will be open Friday and Saturday night. Doors will open at 7pm.

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