Local attraction comes back to haunt during pandemic with precautions in place

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HALLSTEAD, SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — COVID-19 isn’t stopping haunted attractions from opening their doors.

The mansion on the hill on Harmony Road in Hallstead sits quietly in the dark. But what’s waiting inside is madness. 

Due to COVID-19, Hellstead Manor wasn’t sure they’d be able to open their doors. But they implemented safety precautions for all visitors, including free masks.

“They have you scare from a distance. No one is going to get into anyone’s faces. We have a cleaning crew that goes in. Not with every group but enough to wear those high touch services are. They clean there,”Eric Lusk, the owner of Hellstead Manor, told Eyewitness News.

Hellstead is going into its 5th year of terror and fright. Though they had to lay off nearly half their staff because of COVID, they were still able to expand for a longer haunt. 

“The woods walk is twice as long. So bring some hiking Shoes. And it’s frightening. Is a really frightening things because the woods are pretty scary,” Lusk said.

To help other local small businesses suffering due to the pandemic, they partnered with 2 Dogz and a Guy Brewing to have adult beverages available for those who visit. 

“They’re doing a special Hellstead 0 negative beer. I sampled it, its an IPA it’s pretty good. They’re also doing a hemfernizer and a cider,” said Lusk.

The props, sets, and masks are made by Lusk, who’s an Emmy award winning artist. His tactics are so frightening that more than 60 people peed their pants going through last year. 

“I’ve always been into horror, the darling side like cinema. I’ve always painted, I’ve always sculpted. It’s just a fascination of mine.”

For those looking for a good scare, Hellstead opens its doors Friday at 7 p.m. Hellstead Manor does not suggest anyone under 12 visit. 

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