Accessibility in HEllburg Village

When doing outreach at Bite of the Burg locally, one of our volunteers had the opportunity to talk with a young woman who had a bad experience at a different haunted attraction. A member of her group had a disability which made her sensitive to strobe lights and at-risk of seizures if exposed. Unfortunately, when they had asked before entering the haunt if those dangerous triggers would be in the attraction they were given inaccurate information, creating a dangerous situation for her friend.

At Haunting Ellensburg, we find such situations to be not only disturbing… they are truly horrifying. While we believe the fun of the Halloween season should be for everyone, we also believe no one should have to put their life or health at risk to be a part of a community event. The idea that anyone would give inaccurate information (intentionally or not) and jeopardize the well-being of a patron or volunteer is awful- so we want to take a minute to set the record straight for our HEllburg Village event on the most common accessibility questions we receive.

Mobility Impairments (or any other condition which would impair your ability to run in potentially dark conditions unaided):

Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to accommodate mobility impairments. Because of the nature of the historic buildings (which cannot be modified) and the outdoor maze which requires patrons to be able to run, stoop, navigate stairs and traverse uneven (and sometimes slippery!) surfaces in dimly lit conditions we cannot admit patrons with mobility impairments. We would love your patronage, but we are unwilling to risk your safety by knowingly admitting you into the haunt.

 

Chemical Sensitivities, Asthma & Fog Machines:

We do use some chemical scents and fog machines in our haunt. We turn these on for the Mature Audiences version of the haunt after 7pm (and after all the patrons on site who purchased tickets for the “Kiddie Hour” version of the event have gone through). If you have a chemical sensitivity, it will be most safe for you to enter our attraction during the toned-down version, before the scents have been refreshed and the fog machines turned on. If you are highly sensitive to residual scents, you may want to choose to forego entering at all, but you will know your limitations better than we will. If you do choose to enter and discover you need to leave, let one of our volunteer or staff members know and they will help to escort you out of the event through the nearest emergency exit.

 

Strobe Lights:

We use strobe lights, but only in the Mature Audiences version of the haunt after 7pm (and after all patrons on site who purchased tickets for the “Kiddie Hour” version have gone through) and at Admissions after we switch to selling Mature Audience tickets. If you are sensitive to light effects, we strongly recommend coming during the Kiddie Hour version of the event, as early as possible, before those effects are turned on.

 

Guide Animals:

We have been advised by disability advocates to not permit guide animals into our event under any circumstances because they do not typically have the necessary training to handle a haunt environment like ours which includes blank-firing gun props, scenes with violence, and disturbing scents and sounds. The animals do not understand it is all for “good scary fun” and create a safety issue for patrons, volunteers and staff alike. Our volunteers who have had service animals of their own have, based on their own experiences, endorsed this recommendation. Due to these safety concerns, no animals will be allowed into the haunt environment for any reason.

 

We have had volunteers in the past who, due to the nature of their disabilities, were unable to attend as our event as patrons but were still able to participate in the season by volunteering. Inasmuch as possible, we try to give everyone- regardless of their limitations- the ability to participate in our “Boo Crew” and little community of haunters if they so desire. If you are interested in exploring these options or have any other questions, please see our Volunteer page and/or Contact Us!

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