New haunted attraction in Xenia Twp. not approved by county to open

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

The Demented Manor, a new haunted attraction with plans to open in Xenia Twp., has not been approved to open by Greene County, but Halloween enthusiast Mike Wherry remains optimistic the business will receive the OK.

Wherry announced on Sept. 5 that the haunted attraction would open Sept. 28. Officials from the Greene County Department of Building Regulation notified him this week he could not open.

The owner of the property must receive zoning approval through Xenia Twp., make sure the Xenia Twp. Fire Department is on board and submit architectural plans to his department to proceed with building permits, Greene County Chief Building Official Al Kuzma said Friday. After the department reviews drawings for code compliance and they are approved, the owners must request inspections and that’s when they would receive approval to open.

The owner of the property was notified of this process in mid-August, Kuzma said.

Wherry said he has been working with the Department of Building Regulation and after talking with the Ohio Department of Agriculture thought he was allowed to open the haunted attraction under Ohio agritourism guidelines.

The county has not received any documentation of the haunted attraction operating as an agritourism event, Kuzma said. He also noted there would need to be a change in property use for the house from residential to assembly or business use.

Wherry and his wife, Heather, of Xenia teamed up with Bryan and Claudia Williams, owners of Orchard Lane Events, to share the story of The Demented Manor at 2185 State Route 235 as an agritourism event.

Wherry said his next step is to work with officials in Xenia Twp. On Friday morning, he said he was feeling “optimistic” The Demented Manor could open this Halloween season.

“We want to operate by the law,” Wherry said.

If they can’t open this season, he plans to do everything he can to open in 2024.

The Wherry family is known in Xenia’s Sterling Green neighborhood for their yearly home haunt dubbed the Spegele Spooktacular. This year they wanted to do something bigger.

For more information and updates on The Demented Manor, visit the haunted attraction’s Facebook page.

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