Halloween Hauntings Adapt To Scary Times

Attractions around the state are adjusting to social distancing protocols while maintaining Halloween entertainment value.

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Masks: they’ve always been part of Halloween tradition but never like this year. While spooky season is in full fright mode around the state, those in the Halloween business have adapted to COVID-19 protocols.

At East Haven’s Shore Line Trolley Museum, you’ll find the Haunted Isle. People are taken on a trolley into a secret, secluded wooded location. There, actors portray scary roles, with restrictions.

“Our scenes are actually blocked off by barriers between the actors and the customers,” said Event Director Kevin Lowenadler.

At the West Hartford Haunting tour, ghost stories are told of real people who lived and died in the town. Stories date back to 1679.

“Because it’s Halloween, we try to choose the most tragic or gruesome stories that we can find,” explained West Hartford Hauntings Artistic Director Suzanne Sayers.

Although it’s the 16th year, this lantern lit tour is different for the actors involved.

“Sometimes they go into the audience and move around and we’ve eliminated that this year,” said Sayers.

Perhaps the most iconic of them all is Wallingford’s Trail of Terror. In the past, there’ve been multi-hour long lines. This year, all tickets must be purchased in advance and half-hour time slots are assigned to manage traffic flow. There is also a 50% capacity limitation.

West Hartford Hauntings is celebrating Halloween a little differently this year, keeping in mind COVID-19 guidelines and still giving people a fun, spooky experience.

“There’s not much line at all where usually this is packed with people,” said Wallingford Trail of Terror Director Wayne Barneschi.

Temperature checks and masks are required of all guests. Still, the haunting continues and with just days remaining before Halloween, Wallingford’s Trail of Terror is sold out for the season.

“They love the way we made adjustments and made it still fun and scary and everything else so that works out well,” said Barneschi.

If you are going to attend a Halloween activity, organizers advise looking at the rules first so there are no surprises. Except, of course, the ones you’re hoping to get.

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