Thugs who set off fireworks into terrified crowds turned a family event at Cusworth Hall into a real-life Halloween horror story.
About 300 people were queuing up for the House of Dolls Haunted Hall Halloween event at the historic Doncaster venue. But – after a ‘complete idiot’ caused delays by setting off a fire alarm in the building – a small number of disgruntled revellers in the queue sent things out of control and the event was brought to an abrupt end.
Gary Crompton, creative director of event organisers GNG Entertainment, said: “Inside the hall there were some groups of teenagers having fun and being jovial but there was one group that was clearly not there to enjoy the experience.
“One of them deliberately set off the fire alarms. One of our actors was acting out a scene and this guy said something along the lines of, ‘I’ll show you something that’s really scary’, and elbowed the fire alarm, which resulted in a full evacuation of the building.
“There’s a set procedure that has to be followed and the fire brigade had to come.”
Everybody in the building was evacuated and staff informed those in the queue there would be a delay of about 25 minutes while things were sorted out.
Gary saidd: “There was a group of mid 20-somethings at the front of the queue and they suddenly started trying to cause a riot. They were shouting, ‘This is ridiculous, we’ve been queuing for an hour, let’s storm the hall’. It was like a crazy mob situation.
“Some people were lighting fireworks and starting to throw them at the people queuing. The staff at Cusworth Hall at that point had to call the police and they said that was it, it’s over.”
Frank Carpenter, Cusworth Hall’s manager, said: “We were very disappointed we had to put an early close to the tour. It appears a group deliberately set off a fire alarm by damaging some of the equipment which meant we couldn’t continue the evening.
“It is such a shame that a very small minority spoilt what was a really great event and we are sorry for the people who did not get to enjoy it and had to go home disappointed.”
Next year, Gary has said extra measures will be put in place to ensure there will be no repeat of this year’s troubles.
Tickets will be sold in advance online and none will be available on the door.