Tonawanda, NY (WIVB) - It's that time of year again - full of frights at haunted house. But this season already started with some fights. Police say it's a common problem with large crowds.
At FrightWorld's Tonawanda location on Eggert Road at Sheridan Drive, General Manager Stephen Szortyka says, they've assembled a team of off-duty police to provide security.
"Amherst Police opened up a security company that utilizes their Amherst Police officers off-duty, in full uniform," Szortyka explains. "So we utilize them. And we're utilizing [Town of] Tonawanda [Police] as well."
Officers working the FrightWorld security detail Saturday night estimated that when FrightWorld opened for the season the night before - Friday the 13th - about 3,000 people came through the line.
"We were prepared. Our security and staff - which are Tonawanda and Amherst Police officers were ready to have our fans come on out," Szortyka says. "And everything was orderly fashion, everything went very smooth. Our box office sold out."
Friday night's crowd was larger than average, even for opening night. Szortyka attributes the big turnout to the special promotion FrightWorld was running - $13 admission, when it's normally $25.
"It was Friday the 13th," he laughs. "How could you not take advantage of that?"
Town of Tonawanda Police say they arrested two people outside FrightWorld Friday night.
Twenty-year-old Lerrad Rainey of Rochester was ticketed for trespassing, after he was asked to leave the premises, and refused. Police say a 16-year-old boy from Buffalo was charged with assault, resisting arrest and obstruction, after he allegedly started a physical confrontation with an officer, who had asked the teenager's sister for identification.
The 16-year-old was arraigned and is in custody at the Erie County Holding Center.
Both incidents happened outside FrightWorld's security perimeter. Inside, Szortyka says, there were no problems.
"This is our 12th season, which has been [a] very safe 12 years of us being in operation," Szortyka notes. "We're a family-based event. We have families of all ages, kids of all ages that come on out. They have a safe and enjoyable night, and they get the pants scared off them!"
After being in business for that long, FrightWorld has developed a system, adjusting security based on attendance.
On Saturday night, about 20 officers were on-hand.
"It's based on our crowds every single night. So, Thursdays it's going to have a little bit different, compared to our Sundays. And Sundays, it's going to be completely different compared to Fridays and Saturdays," says Szortyka.
In response to robust ticket sales and popularity, Tonawanda's FrightWorld expanded this year with "two brand-new houses: Erie State Asylum and Condemned. Two of the brand-new houses that we've been working on for two months, full of detail and some really awesome realistic effects," Szortyka says.
FrightWorld will be open through November 2, on Friday and Saturday nights in September and Thursday through Sunday night in October.
For hours, coupons or to buy tickets, check out FrightWorld's website.
Copyright WIVB-TV/LIN Media
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