STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Popular Atlanta haunt Netherworld opens Friday night with new safety measures in place to keep patrons safe.
Channel 2′s Tom Regan was in Stone Mountain, the home of one of the best haunted houses in the country. Netherworld has been in operation for 20 years.
Co-owner Ben Armstrong said there is no way they were going to be scared into not opening for the season because of the coronavirus.
Armstrong gave Regan a behind-the-scenes tour to show off how they plan to protect visitors and staff in the dark, spooky confines.
“We are essentially doing every imaginable thing we can to be as safe as possible,” Armstrong said. “All of us take safety incredibly seriously.”
“We are going to space people out by half hour blocks and when you enter the attraction, everything is social distanced,” Armstrong said. “If it’s two people, they will go in by themselves. If it’s a family, they will go in by themselves.”
Before going in, everyone is screened for COVID-19 symptoms and temperature-checked. Hand sanitizer is placed around the attraction and masks are required for everyone. Armstrong said they’ll also have un-costumed ushers to make sure people stay separated.
“They may be wearing a mask like this under their mask or over their (Halloween) mask,” Armstrong said.
Because of the reduced capacity and customers, there are fewer performers -- and even their costumes will be different this year.
“We’re cutting down on makeup, because very little of the face will be seen,” Amstrong said.
Armstrong said to make up for fewer performers, there are more mechanical scares.
“We have added more than 100 new special effect animatronics to the already hundreds of things that we have,” Armstrong said.
He said the attraction has worked closely with the Department of Public Health on virus safety measures so everyone can focus their fears on something else like a ghastly ghoul or two.
“Just walking through will provoke a sense of wonder for anyone who loves the season,” Armstrong said. “You’re going to be bombarded with sights, sounds and special effects.”
Netherworld said they are consulting with other large haunt attractions around the country to share ideas on virus protection during this Halloween season.
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