Don’t panic: Columbus Co. haunted attraction gets ready to open COVID-style

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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Some Halloween celebrations have been cancelled due to the pandemic this year, but one haunted attraction in the Cape Fear is making things work this spooky season.

The team at Panic Attack Haunted Attraction in Nakina is getting ready to open its doors next week, and is taking some extra precautions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. But don’t panic, the scare factor will still be there.

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“When you pull up, you’re now going to be set up with a text system,” Panic Attack Owner Eric Pino said. “So when you arrive, you’ll get a text message, saying’ Hey, go ahead and come up in line.’ That way it keeps the number of people in line to at least 50.”

Pino says you can still buy tickets online or at the door, but only 50 people will be allowed to stand in the cue line in order to follow state guidelines. He says there will also be six foot markers in line to separate people while they wait to go inside.

“When guests arrive, they will be required to wear a face mask or a face shield,” Pino said. “All actors that come will be temperature checked before they come onto the property. We’re also going to put hand sanitizer stations all throughout the haunt.”

Pino says their actors will also be wearing a face mask and shield under their costumes. He says the 40-45 minute journey through the haunted houses will still be pretty similar for visitors.

“We’ll separate them,” he said. “You can have usually up to eight people, is what we’ll usually do. As that group comes in, we’ll make sure they get a good enough space ahead, and then we’ll let the next group in.”

Once you do dare to go inside, Pino says there won’t be as many props and objects that visitors can touch along the way.

“We’ve taken all stuff that hangs in your face,” he said. “We’ve removed it or we’ve moved it where it’s up, out of people’s reach. We also used to have claustrophobic walls. We’ve taken those down. We’re also doing more group scares this time, so as you’re going through, it’s going to be a scare that comes out at you, and can get a whole group.”

The team at Panic Attack says they’ll also have a company come in at the end of every night to spray down and sanitize the house.

The haunted attraction opens for the season October 2 and 3, and ticket sales will last from dark to midnight. Pino says the Jeepers Creepers original truck will also be out to celebrate their opening weekend.

He says online ticket sales will start Tuesday.