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Haunted houses go to 'war'

Oct. 18, 2011 at 1:36 PM   |   Comments

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SALEM, Mass., Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The owner of a Massachusetts haunted house says he is at "war" with a competing haunted house that opened in the same mall.

Marshall Tripoli, owner of the Nightmare Factory, which has been open year-round at the East India Square Mall in Salem the past five years, said his conflict with the Witch Mansion, which opened recently in the same mall, began when a worker at the new attraction attempted to trip one of his actors while she was walking down the mall in a straight jacket, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

Tripoli said his actors lined up Friday and shouted insults at the ghouls from the other haunted house, resulting in police being called, and Sunday police were called again when a Witch Mansion actor allegedly threw his hip into a 60-year-old Nightmare Factory man in zombie garb.

"There is a war. A war has started," Tripoli said.

John Denley, co-owner of the Witch Mansion, said the Sunday incident was the result of poor visibility in his actor's mask. He said he does not want a feud with the other haunted house, and any "war" ended as soon as the new haunted house moved into a space with an outdoor entrance.

"We were smart in the first place," Denley said. "We have a location outside where the people are. We won the war before it started, and that's why he's so upset. He's got a gun with no bullets."

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