City Forces Woman To Tear Town Neighborhood Haunted House


A neighborhood is disappointed after their village shut down a free haunted house built for kids.

Brooke Harding wanted to take Halloween beyond pumpkins and skeletons for kids in her West Jefferson neighborhood.

"I like kids a lot. I work in a daycare. I like to get kids involved, not just do simple things," said Harding.

The idea of a haunted house in her parent's backyard is now dead and buried.

"We had the sign up for easily a month and nobody said anything until three days before Halloween," said Harding.

That's when the zoning inspector brought the weeks of planning and construction to a halt.

"If one of those electrical cords shorted out, like I said, I think it's great what they tried to do, they just didn't go about it the right way,"  said West Jefferson Mayor Darlene Steele.

The village points to pictures taken by the inspector and documents that note the haunted house was against ordinance. They didn't have a permit and it wasn't safe.

"What he saw was just kind of haphazardly put together, exposed wires, that sort of thing,"  said Steele.

A citation was issued and the project had to come down within 24 hours.

"He didn't even check. He didn't do walk-throughs or nothing," Harding said.

She insists the materials were all lightweight and any exposed cords were because the project wasn't finished, but the village is standing by the decision.

"If they want to do it again next year, get a permit. Find out what's expected to make it safe, then I think we'd be all for it," said Steele.

The family found an indoor alternative site to hold the haunted house. It will be set up Friday, November 2 at the American Legion in West Jefferson from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m.