ANDERSON, Ind. — For the past 10 years, every Halloween season, visitors to Indy Scream Park have been able to count on their share of fun mixed with fear.
"This is usually a very busy six weeks, seven weeks for us, because a lot of customers come through here," said Jon Pianki with Indy Scream Park.
This year, though, Americans are dealing with the real terror of a deadly pandemic and the decision about where, when and how much they venture out.
The folks at Indy Scream Park know that means their numbers will be down from the tens of thousands who usually come through the gates.
"We also think people want to be able to come out and do things that are being as safe as possible," Pianki said.
Per COVID-19 safety guidelines, the park had to cut their capacity in half each night. When visitors arrive, they can expect a temperature check and, once inside, "masks are required in all queue lines, masks are require in all attractions" both for visitors and staff, Pianki said.
Normally during a visit to Indy Scream Park, you could expect actors dressed as clowns to be up in your personal space. With COVID-19 regulations, though, they've got to stay at least six feet away. That's a great thing, if you're afraid of clowns.
"Our staff will not touch customers this year," Pianki said.
Signs across the park will remind visitors to keep their distance from folks they didn't come with.
"We've spaced all our queue lines out to prevent people from being shoulder-to-shoulder with each other," Pianki said.
The park has also added hand sanitizing stations along with extra staff to disinfect common areas. Each night, they will clean the attractions with a fogging disinfectant.
"Everything the fog touches will basically disinfect of all bacteria and viruses," Pianki said.
It's a lot of work, park employees say, but this is what it takes to try and keep people scared, but safe, from the real life fear that is catching COVID-19.