After 20 years in the business of scaring people, Fright Manor haunted house may not be back in Southport next Halloween. Local residents have asked the Southport City Council to exorcise the business from the building it shares with the Southport Police Station because of concerns with noise, litter and visitors walking through neighborhood yards.
The council will address Fright Manor’s renewal at its next meeting on Dec. 20.
This year, Fright Manor organizers say they took extra precautions, including adding extra security and more organized clean-up efforts. They put up a plastic orange fence to keep patrons from crossing into other yards. The busy attraction is open for 15 days each October.
According to Steven Grimes, sponsorship and advertising coordinator for Fright Manor, these efforts were noticed by the residents. “The closest neighbor to us said this year was a lot quieter than last year,” he said.
But haunted house visitors still crossed barriers into neighboring yards. “Unfortunately,” he said, “it is not possible to stop all people from going into their yards.”
Grimes said Fright Manor approached 58 neighborhood residents, and 52 said they would have no problem allowing Fright Manor to return. “We would like to continue to be in Southport for one more year,” Grimes said. “But we would not want to stay around if our presence is not wanted by a majority of the people.”
According to Southport Mayor Nanette Tunget, the City Council is reviewing a list of issues and Councilman Greg Dant organized a subcommittee to review the issues. The committee plans to make a recommendation to the full council whether or not a one-year extension to Fright Manor’s contract should be approved.
Even though Fright Manor is a business, a portion of the proceeds benefits the Southport Parks Department, as well as Lutheran High School and other local churches and schools who assist in running the operation. “Fright Manor is a good community organization,” Grimes said. “I hope we can show the city what they would be missing.”