Haunted House/Haunted Trail Requirements

PERMITS: When a temporary operational permit is required by the Spartanburg County Planning Department to operate a haunted house, haunted trail, or other similar installations, it shall be obtained from the Planning Department and a safety inspection shall be performed by the Spartanburg County Building/Fire Codes Department before the facility is opened to the public.


  • HAUNTED HOUSE: A structure or portion thereof which transports people, by mechanical means or pedestrian, through a course where the means of egress is not apparent due to theatrical distractions, low illumination, temporary hallways, partitions and/or multiple rooms.
  • HAUNTED TRAIL: Similar to haunted houses, Haunted trails may include both indoor (Covered) and outdoor areas (Open Air) where the apparent means of egress is not apparent due to theatrical distractions or low illumination.    

NOTE: Haunted Houses are classified as “Special Amusement Building” per the International Building Code; therefore, these types of structures shall meet the requirements of the current adopted edition of the International Building Code for Special Amusement Buildings.

GENERAL REQUIRMENTS: Haunted houses, haunted trails, and other similar installations shall comply with all the following:

  1. In any facility using the maze concept there shall be no dead end corridors and there shall be an obvious exit out of any maze every 20 feet of linear travel. All aisles shall be a minimum of 4 feet wide and 6 feet 8 inches high. All stairways shall be illuminated at a level of at least one-foot candle.
  2. The total number of occupants in the facility at any time shall be determined by the Fire Code Official. Groups shall consist of not more than 10 persons. Each group shall be accompanied by a staff person 18 years of age or older. The staff person shall have in his/her possession an operable flashlight and be completely familiar with the facility and the approved emergency plan.
  3. Smoking is prohibited inside the facility.
  4. All electrical installations shall meet the requirements of the current edition of the adopted National Electrical Code.
  5. All framing for temporary walls or ceilings must be securely built and braced, without any trip hazards, and must be treated in accordance with Chapter 8 of The South Carolina Fire Code or constructed of non-combustible material.
  6. The fire code official shall be contacted for an inspection and the approval of the evacuation and operational procedures (Emergency Plan) prior to opening the facility to the public. A floor plan or course layout  shall be provided to the Fire Code Official at the time of inspection.
  7. No open flame devices or temporary heaters are allowed in the occupancy.
  8. Use of untreated combustible material is prohibited. All combustible material shall be treated in accordance with Chapter 8 of The South Carolina Fire Code. This includes all harvest decorations , such as corn stalks, hay, and dry branches. Draperies, cardboard and flammable materials used as interior finish or display purposes shall not be used unless they are flame resistive, self extinguishing or otherwise fire retardant treated in an approved manner.
  9. Exits shall be a minimum of 3 feet wide and 6 feet 8 inches high. Each exit shall have exit signage in accordance with Chapter 10 of The South Carolina Building Code. Blocking, locking or in any way impeding ready access to any marked or required access is prohibited. All exit ways shall be kept clear of any obstructions or storage at all times.
  10. A sufficient number of fire extinguishers shall be provided to ensure that the maximum travel distance shall not exceed 50 feet. The minimum acceptable rating (size) is 2A:10B:C. All fire extinguishers shall be mounted in a conspicuous location. Staff shall be instructed in the proper use of the extinguishers.
  11. If required by the Fire Code Official, staff guides shall be provided with two way communications that have been demonstrated to be capable of being heard throughout the entire facility. A central public address system or a portable system can be used in place of the two way communications provided that it has the ability to be controlled  from a central location. Communications shall be used for the purpose  of giving directions during  emergency situations.
  12. The use of pyrotechnics is prohibited.
  13. Trails with side walls shall not be more than 1000 feet in length, with clearly marked exits, with reflective signs every 100 feet of travel.
  14. Other requirements, not specific to just haunted houses/trails or special amusement buildings may also apply.

RESTROOM FACILITIES: Suitable arrangements for accessible restroom facilities must be provided.

Haunted House/Haunted Trail Requirements (printable version)