Last week, Oni Hartstein posted a blog entry about the selling of tickets via Groupon to a chain of haunted attractions called America is Haunted. The poop has started to hit the fan…
This link goes to a news story out of Milwaukee that shows Groupon is starting to take the some of these deals offline and is refunding people their money..so again, if you have purchased a Groupon for a set of tickets for a haunted house called America is Haunted, you should be able to receive a refund. I understand there’s an investigation going on in Iowa, so hopefully other states affected by this scam are doing the same.
Apparently there have been offers also posted on Amazon Local, but I personally don’t see anything there in the few states I checked out. Still, if you have purchased tickets for America is Haunted from http://local.amazon.com, please get in touch with them about this scam.
As of today, the website http://www.americaishaunted.com has been taken down.
Fellow haunter Melinda Mitchell is the whistle-blower in this story and has done one helluva job in investigating the story.
My friend Oni wrote a blog yesterday about an apparent haunted house scam. The upshot is that there’s a website advertising a national chain of haunted houses called America is Haunted. (Those that have followed the industry know that national chains of haunts haven’t happened all that much – Silo X is the last one I can think of, offhand, but it was never as extensive as “America is Haunted” claims to be.
The reason folks started questioning this series of haunted houses was that there were a series of Groupon deals for these haunts. Lots of them.
However, these haunts do not exist. One example: http://www.groupon.com/deals/america-is-haunted-96 is a current offer for tickets to a haunt located at 104 12th Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98122. It’s a real location, available for lease. This is the case with other addresses that have been checked..they’re the addresses of industrial locations. None of these locations are haunted houses.
If you want more information on the story, you can’t do better than reading Oni’s post about it, as well as the comments. (Yes, this is one of those rare instances where you absolutely WANT to read the comments.)
This is a maddening story. There’s no reason someone would look at the ads on Groupon and NOT think these are legitimate locations.
Summary: If you’ve purchased a Groupon for a haunt called “America is Haunted,” please research the haunt – see if it exists beyond http://www.americaishaunted.com/ – if you can’t find any proof that there is indeed a haunted attraction there, TELL GROUPON.