Greenville Haunted Firehouse Canceled
By Andrew Edwards
In the midst of COVID-19, many events have been canceled statewide for the majority of 2020.
Unfortunately, that trend will continue into late September and October as the Greenville Fire Department has announced that they will not be holding their annual Haunted Firehouse this year – an event that was scheduled every Friday and Saturday from Sept. 25-26 until Halloween night.
The Haunted Firehouse, which has been long praised for creating a genuine sense of terror, was deemed to be too risky to open this year, as the experience requires many of its occupants and actors to be very close to one another. This authentic experience proved to be one of the key reasons that the event was ultimately canceled, said Fire Department Capt. Les Liller.
“It’s just too up close and personal,” Liller said. “We obviously hate that we had to cancel it, but it’s simply just not going to be safe for any parties involved. We met a few weeks ago and discussed some other options to possibly make it work, but they ended up just causing more problems than solutions.”
Some of those alternative options involved temperature checks and mask mandates for everyone who entered, as well as fewer/timed tickets. The haunted house, which Liller said drew a massive 1,400 people in a single night last year, simply wouldn’t have abided by the health and safety guidelines that have been passed down by the state.
“With that many people, on top of the fact that this is a self-guided tour – no, there’s just no way that it would have worked. It only takes one or two people in the whole crowd to get everyone sick,” Liller said.
However, some hope still remains. Liller said that the event could be moved to February or March if conditions improve.
This Halloween season would have been the 16th annual showing of the Haunted Firehouse.