9 Halloween Attractions That Went Too Far


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The Darkness Actually Caused a Death
A teen visitor inhaled the smoke from a fog machine at a haunted house (similar to the one shown here at Universal Studios Singapore) and had breathing problems. She died a year later. Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

People know they may be scared to death at a haunted house, but they don't expect to actually die. Nevertheless, a haunted house was implicated in the death of 15-year-old Brittney Holmes. During Halloween 2009, Holmes visited The Darkness, a haunted house in Soulard, a historic French neighborhood in St. Louis. As she walked through the attraction, the asthmatic teen was forced to inhale its artificial fog and various other scents. On the way home, Holmes had breathing problems. By the time she reached a hospital, her brain hadn't had oxygen for at least seven minutes. Holmes died a year later, after being in a vegetative state the entire time. Her medical bills topped $1 million [source: Hahn].

The Darkness had posted several signs warning away people with respiratory problems. Holmes had been asthmatic since the age of 4 and was allergic to a variety of things, including grass, dust and mildew. However, Holmes' parents, who do not live together, each sued Halloween Productions Inc., which operated The Darkness [source: Hahn]. Halloween Productions also operates Creepyworld, site of the lawsuit we mentioned on page 5.

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