A popular haunted house attraction in Nassau County is on high alert to control their crowds, or risk being shut down.
The county fire marshal’s office issued twelve violations to the operators of the Bayville Scream Park on Saturday night for lack of social distancing and other fire code violations.
“The whole thing was a tinder box for a riot to break out,” said Chris Lopez, who went to Bayville Scream Park with tickets purchased in advance for the 7 p.m. session. But when he arrived with his teenage son and his son’s friends, that reservation didn’t mean much as they waited on a line that started outside the park and wound its way inside.
“No social distancing,” said Lopez. “The security guards had bull horns and told people to keep six feet from the people in front of you but nobody is doing that because we are packed like sardines.”
The fire marshal’s office said they received several complaints. When they arrived they saw the crowds. “There were about 200-300 people waiting on lines on the main public street trying to get in,” said Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro. “The back-up of people waiting to get in was way out of control.”
Lopez says they waited four hours in line before they bailed. He says he spent $300 on the tickets, but didn’t even get to see any of it.
Executive orders say the facility must operate at 25 percent capacity, but the fire marshals say there were far more than that waiting outside the haunted house. They will allow the park to reopen this weekend, but they must limit the number of people waiting outside to 50.
“It’s a stern warning. If we come here again this weekend and the same situation begins to build, It’s going to be shut down," said Uttaro. "No more warnings and that’s going to be it for Halloween.”
Multiple calls to Bayville Scream Park and the owners were not returned.