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How one Denver haunted house is adapting and still causing scares through the coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 4:20 PM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 20:42:18-04

DENVER — If 2020 wasn’t already scary enough for you, several of Colorado’s haunted houses are open this fall to scare guests. But like every other business, they are adapting how they do things to keep people safe while staying afloat.

“We’re ranked one of the number one haunted houses in the entire country,” 13th Floor manager Amy Hollaman told Denver7.

Every fall, the 13h Floor Haunted House scares thousands of guests in their immersive haunted house experience. This year, they have once again opened their eerily creaky doors but with many noticeable and important changes.

“Based on the state mandate order we’re at 25% capacity,” Hollaman explained.

Tickets for the haunted house are mainly purchased ahead of time and are for a specific time, in order to keep crowd sizes down. Stencils and stickers on the pavement and floor keep people socially distant both outside and while moving through the attraction. There are plenty of hand sanitizer stations and a ‘clean team’ sanitizes and disinfects touch surfaces throughout the course of an evening.

“All guests have to wear masks, all staff have to wear masks,” Hollaman said. “We temperature check our staff and temperature check guests.”

That fact is shown in a promotional video for the company, showing a zombie janitor getting his temperature checked before wiping down various surfaces. Management says even under that scary mask, actors are also wearing another mask of personal protective equipment.

And in a COVID-19 era, the act itself of scaring people is even different.

“Instead of an actor being behind a wall and jumping out and being right in front of you and scaring you, they’ll be behind a barrier and use technology to trigger a pedal with light and sound. So they still get the startle impact and it’s impressive, but they’re not getting close to you,” Hollaman explained.

The 13th Floor has also removed any low hanging curtains or nets that guests would have had to push through, so visitors don’t have to touch anything as they make their way through the haunted house.

Despite the changes and adaptations, management promises that their attraction will still be just as scary this year.

“We want guests to not worry about what’s happening in the outside world, so we’ve taken the responsibility to make sure they’re safe and have a good time while they’re here,” Hollaman said.

For more information on the 13th Floor, head to