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Hatch and Kraven’s moves to Denison

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
Hatch and Kraven's Slaughterhouse is moving its location for the 2020 Halloween season.

Hatch and Kraven’s Slaughterhouse will be rising from the grave, figurative and literally, this Halloween season. The long-time haunted house announced a new location outside of Denison for this year’s festivities and frights.

The haunted slaughterhouse, which has brought frights each October for more than a decade, was denied its permits this year by the Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission due to concerns by the fire department and fire marshal.

At the time of the denial, representatives for the slaughterhouse said it was likely closed for the year.

“We have found a new location on five acres just outside of town,” said representative John LeBlanc., noting the property belongs to a cast member’s family. “They live there, but they have five acres behind their house and that’s where we’ve put the venue.”

The new venue will be about two miles east of Denison along FM 120.

For this year’s event, organizers planned to move the venue outdoors due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of taking place in the slaughterhouse itself, visitors would take a walk through the fields that surround the building itself.

LeBlanc noted that Hatch and Kravens would be one of very few haunted attraction in North Texas that planned to open this year due to the pandemic.

However, these plans were met with opposition from the city fire marshal who noted that in previous years the organizers promised to bring the building into compliance with current code. These issues included concerns of the electrical work on site and the lack of alarms and fire suppression.

The concerns raised ranged from code compliance and electrical concerns to previous promises and failures to bring the site up to code.

“The fire marshal wanted us to put in a full alarm system and full fire suppression system in the slaughterhouse building,” LeBlanc said. “That’s between $50,000 and $100,000 to do that. We just couldn’t see putting that much money into a building that’s up for sale, could go any minute, that we rent for just 28 days of the year.”

The request was ultimately denied as the building is connected to the property itself. As such, if the building is not up to code, the land around it is not either.

LeBlanc said the titular characters have made the move to the new site, but many of the secondary roles have changed to meet the new venue. LeBlanc said the story line for the change involves the pandemic, and the ghouls and ghosts going to the country side to get away from the city.

The pandemic has led organizers to change some of the rules this year, and masks will be required. Social distancing between family groups will also be enforced.

Organizers are also limiting point of contact, with touchless ticketing down through the website and changes to some concessions, LeBlanc said.

Due to the changes in venue, LeBlanc said the attraction will be opening on Friday, nearly two weeks after it was originally scheduled to do so. This effectively will reduce it’s calendar season to 14 days.

Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.