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Haunted houses allow visitors to get their scare on

Just because they may look a little different doesn’t mean they’ve lost their knack for scaring the bejesus out of their guests.

While haunted houses have to make adjustments due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s still plenty of fear that awaits fright lovers.

Take the Waldorf Estate of FEAR in Lehighton, for example, which has made changes to avoid spreading germs, according to owner Angela Moyer.

Moyer said the popular hayride has been changed into a new walk-through attraction, City of Horrors, so it can support social distancing.

“What’s nice is we have always put people in private groups inside our haunted house,” Moyer said. “So, we’ll be running business as usual except for of course high-touch areas.”

Moyer said they will not combine groups; instead, guests will enter as their own group, and all areas believed to be “high-touch” areas have been eliminated.

She said all doors will be open; there will be no completely dark areas and no crawl-through; all inside actors will be wearing masks; and handrails will be sanitized on a regular basis throughout the night.

Additionally, Moyer said there’s no touching of props or actors, and customers should wear masks at all times while on the property.

“We’ll have 6-foot lines, sanitation centers,” she said. “We’re taking temperature checks, and they have to sign a waiver.”

Despite the changes, Moyer said guests can still expect to get their scare on.

“We’re a good old-fashioned haunted attraction,” she said. “We don’t rely on fake animatronics; we have high-energy actors who are ready to scare the crap out of you.”

Moyer said the haunted house opens Oct. 2, at which time it will run from 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

“We’re super excited for 2020,” she said. “It’s (about) providing a little enjoyment for people who have been stuck in.”

For more information, visit www.waldorfestateoffear.com.

Those who wish to get their crazy on a bit sooner can have their wish at the Hotel of Horror in Saylorsburg.

Known as the Pocono Mountains Premier Haunted House, the attraction opens Saturday, and will run every Friday through Sunday evening through Nov. 1.

There, too, masks are required for all patrons and staff, and the wait line will be reconfigured for social distancing, according to information on the group’s website.

“We have always been a no-touch Haunted House; do not touch our actors, they will not touch you,” per the group’s 2020 COVID-19 policies. “We have always accommodated our guests by allowing them to attend with the people they arrived with. This year we will continue that tradition; you do not need to worry about being placed with people you do not know, and we will continue doing adequate spacing between groups.”

Additionally, staging will be altered to limit contact; hand sanitizing stations will be available; there will be daily disinfecting of the attractions before opening; and there will be temperature checks for all actors and staff.

Unfortunately due to COVID-19, there will be no Theatre of the Damned, Coffin Coach, Interactive Patron Activated Scares, or concessions for this season, according to the group’s website.

“There is an inherent risk of COVID-19 exposure that exists in any public place where people are present,” per the group’s policies. “If you do not feel comfortable assuming that risk, please plan your visit to the Hotel of Horror for next season.”

For more event details, visit www.hotelofhorror.com.

A look at the Waldorf Estate of FEAR in Lehighton, which opens Oct. 2. Haunted houses such as Waldorf, along with the Hotel of Horror in Saylorsburg that opens this Saturday, will support social distancing. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS