Questions in haunted house injury
Attraction left woman with a cut requiring stitches
Screamfest officials are still unsure what could have pierced a woman through the leg (requiring stitches) in one of their haunted houses.
Calgarian Martha Walt said she was making her way through the Bates Motel haunted house at Screamfest on Thursday evening last week when a hydraulic prop activated and cut her leg just above the knee.
“I didn’t realize I was cut right away, because it’s a huge adrenalin rush and its really dark — all I knew was that it was very painful,” Walt explained. “By the time I got out of the house the pain was severe. I looked down and I saw that I had been cut.”
From there Walt tried to seek out a staff member for help, and was told to find one of the security guards wearing an orange vest. Unable to find one, Walt decided to head to the emergency room, where she was given stitches and a tetanus shot, and told to keep off the leg.
Janneane Wutzke, general manager of Screamfest, said any injury in one of their attractions is a concern, so she got in touch with Walt the next night to get details of the incident.
Wutzke said she used those details with a safety officer to check out the haunted house and determined Walt was referring to an old suitcase prop that is connected to a sensor, that causes the suitcase to lift up and reveal a scare fake head.
However, Wutzke said the scare does not have any sharp objects or even suitcase buckles attached to it, making it unclear what caused the injury. She added that they don’t use sharp objects in their attractions, and anything shaped like a spike would usually be made out of rubber.
“We have to pass a safety inspection before we can open to the public,” Wutzke said.
Screamfest staff have invited Walt to walk through the haunted house to better determine how the injury occurred. Walt said it’s difficult to make it out right away, as she’s been told to keep off the leg, and she has an infant at home to care for.
the hydraulics behind this prop are suspected to have caused the cut, but Screamfest officials are still investigating how.