Photo of Edward P. Shaughnessy
Photo of Edward P. Shaughnessy

Can you sue if you’re injured in a “haunted house?”

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2023 | Injuries |

It’s not yet Labor Day, but Halloween candy and pumpkin spice lattes seem to be everywhere. You may have even seen that tickets are already available for Halloween events – complete with “haunted houses” and other scary adventures.

Part of the fun and excitement of taking part in these adventures is being surprised and even frightened at every turn. It’s all Halloween fun and games until someone gets hurt – and sometimes people are seriously injured. There have been instances of people being so startled that they run into walls or fall.

What you should know about liability waivers

If you’re literally paying to be scared, can you take legal action against the business that owns or runs the haunted house or other adventure? In most cases, the waiver of liability you signed or agreed to when you purchased your ticket exempts that owner from liability for injury. 

However, these businesses still have a responsibility to provide a safe experience and environment. They also need to give visitors a reasonable opportunity to review and understand the liability waiver – and to opt-out and get a refund if they don’t want to proceed.

When can a haunted house injury lead to liability?

One plaintiff who prevailed was a woman who was seriously injured when a moving wall caused her to fall. In that case, poor lighting was a contributing factor to the fall and subsequent injuries. 

Haunted house owners have many of the same obligations as any property owner when it involves invited visitors. That means they could be liable for unattended spills, broken staircases and electrical hazards. People sign up for meeting ghouls and assorted undead creatures – not for falling down the stairs or being electrocuted by a frayed cord.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Halloween venue, getting legal guidance can help you determine whether you have a case that will allow you to pursue compensation for medical costs and other expenses and damages.