Anna sent this email today....what do you think?
Hello to all organizers and participants.
This year’s Haunted House was obviously a success, and I’m glad to have been part of it. However, I have a serious issue to bring up: insufficient concern for the welfare of the volunteer monsters.
It is unacceptable that so many of us got injured.
In particular, I would like to address the injuries obtained simply from conscientiously following instructions. Let me illustrate this issue in my case. I was in the Trapped Room. To simulate being trapped, among other things we hit the plexiglass with our palms as the customers walked by. The problem with that is, you may not feel much from hitting it a few times, but try to hit it a dozen times, and your palms start to sting. Hit the glass a dozen more times, and your palms become really tender. I did it for four hours, with one 10 minute break. My hands hurt so bad that I had to use other body parts. I now have huge bruises on my shoulders and hips, and can officially check into the Battered Women’s Shelter. Sunday I couldn’t walk.
Now, before anyone shrugs this off as “part of the game”, let me say this: you know how everyone was concerned about possible liability for any injury to the customers? Well, this is just as serious. Requesting a volunteer to perform an impact stunt over and over for four hours, without any protection, preparation, safety instruction, or even a warning, is gross negligence.
The organizers of next year’s Haunted House must make the concern for the wellbeing of the volunteers a priority as high as the safety of the customers. Do whatever is necessary to minimize the physical damage done by impact stunts and screaming. The key is to be aware of this issue, because there are all kinds of simple solutions, like using padding and props, and performing the more strenuous stations in shifts. Maybe the drama people can give some ideas about not losing the voice. At the very least, have the volunteers sign a waiver form.