Haunted house visitor says hands-on interaction with employee was 'concerning'

Haley Jones, a customer at Ohio's Haunted Hydro, had a "concerning" experience when an actor got a bit too close. (Screenshot: WTOL)

A hired actor at a haunted house breached protocol when she drew on a customer and rubbed a spit-covered toy on her face, according to the attraction’s owner.

Last week, Haley Jones visited Haunted Hydro in Fremont, Ohio, a “dark attraction park” that features escape rooms, haunted woods, fire acts and exhibits. After her visit, Jones told Toledo news station WTOL that, while standing in a line, an employee who was playing a role there got a little too close.

"Basically I think an actor wasn’t quite sure what to do with us, or was uncomfortable in her role, and she ended up popping this weird toy in her mouth and taking it out and wiping it all over my face with just her spit,” said Jones. “And then she took a Sharpie marker to my face as well.”

Haunted Hydro does offer a “touch pass” option where customers agree to an “interactive” thrill with the most experienced actors. However, this year, the passes aren’t available, owner Bob Turner tells Yahoo Lifestyle, saying that it takes weeks of intensive training for actors to execute the experience. Without that touch pass, actors must stay one arm’s length away from guests at all times.

"We did not get touched in the house. It was just in the outside line, but we didn't think we were going to get touched by the actors, so it was a little bit concerning," Jones told WTOL.

Jones’s incident with the employee was not an approved act. “Sometimes we have guest actors from other haunts that are not fully aware of our rules and regulations,” Turner tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We did have a patron call us and inform us of this issue. We reprimanded the actor and made it very clear this type of scare has never been the style of the Haunted Hydro. We already have apologized to the patron and took care of this situation internally.”

Employees are always put through a three-day “Fear Camp” which teaches protocol for makeup, costumes, acting, and safety measures, says Turner, and the business employs an on-site EMT and off-duty firemen.

Jones says that hereafter, she will speak up if she feels uncomfortable. "I would say just next time I will be more aware, and if someone is touching me without signing a form I'd be more inclined to be like 'hey, don't do that.' Whereas that time I just was kind of unsure what was going on and if they normally do that here or whatnot.”

Yahoo Lifestyle could not locate Jones for comment.

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