The CEO of a Texas haunted house had to get creative to reopen. Here’s how he’s helping people feel safe in a place meant to scare them.

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Many haunted houses across the country opted not to open up this Halloween season after the CDC released safety guidelines suggesting that people avoid indoor haunted houses. 

But one haunted house owner was determined not to be deterred by the global pandemic, and created a terrifying — yet safe — experience for his guests.

Norm Glenn is the founder and CEO of the Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park in Smithville, Texas. Before opening up his venue he had over two decades of professional experience working in the haunted attraction industry. He grew up in Connecticut adoring scary legends like the Salem Witch trials and the Headless Horseman. 

“I loved the local haunted houses and stepping into a strange scary world. I’d count down the days until they opened up,” he told Business Insider. “I remember being so afraid waiting in line to get in, and then the euphoria of getting out alive from the creatures inside.”

To say that Glenn loves to give people a good spook would be an understatement — the park has several haunted houses that tap into fears of evil witchcraft, revengeful ghosts, otherworldly monsters, and plenty of blood and gore.

“Haunted houses sprang up during the great depression. The rationale was that during difficult and stressful times people want an escape from everyday life,” he said. This is part of why he decided to open his haunted house this year, as he wanted to serve his community with a family-friendly activity.

Glenn operates and funds the operation. He’s responsible for recruiting a creative team of managers, set builders, actors, special effects makeup artists, and more. 

“I’m very fortunate to have built a haunt family who are just as passionate as I am,” he said.

On any given day, he does the backend work of scheduling all deliveries, ordering, budgeting, and staffing. The park consists of four haunted attractions across 22 buildings, set within 20 acres of forest. The Mansion of Terror Coven is a former orphanage haunted by the wicked Saint Adelia. Decide your fate as you choose your path while navigating through the bodies of victims at Lost Pines Asylum or get lost in the Wicked Darkness Maze.

When the pandemic hit, Glenn wasn’t sure if he should open for the haunted house’s sixth season.

Soon people from his community started to ask what his plans were and encouraged him to open. 

“Talking with all of those people made me think how important family traditions were and how people use Scream Hollow as an escape and stress reliever,” he said.

As a business owner, he’s used to being nimble and adapting to change, which he sees as caveats of running a business: “My biggest concern is keeping my immune system up. I try to get plenty of rest, drink a lot of water, and take Emergen-C every day.” 

To cope with the extra stress right now, he carves out time every day to exercise and just sit in peace. Every morning he enjoys drinking coffee on his front porch.

He was determined to open safely, …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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