Haunted mill will open despite initial scare

October 4, 2013 by  

Gastonia residents who enjoy a good scare will be relieved to know that Terror by the Creek in nearby Vale will once again be opening its doors to frighten all comers.

The haunted house held in the old Howard’s Creek Mill has been a local institution for the past 13 years, but recent changes to the North Carolina fire code almost barred it from opening this time round.

Each year, sponsors Denise Propst and Eric Distasio contact Mike Futrell, Lincoln County Fire Marshal, to ensure they are in compliance with fire regulations. This year, a replying fax pointed out changes to the North Carolina fire safety code that required an emergency voice alarm system for all “special amusement buildings”. The cost, about $30,000, was a potential stumbling block.

However, the flyer printing for the haunted mill can continue due to the favorable outcome of Propst’s appeal to Richard Strickland, State Fire Marshall. A grandfather clause in the new regulations allows businesses that have operated over a period of years and that have not undergone any structural changes to continue to operate as before.

Propst and Distasio have always worked closely with the local fire department to ensure the safety of their guests. They have added additional exits and a sprinkler system, as well as keeping several fire extinguishers on the premises. Terror by the Creek is held Friday and Saturdays from tonight until November 2, as well as all of Halloween week at 717 Howard’s Creek Mill Road in Vale. The doors open at 7:45 pm and admission is $13.