"Frightworld" Temporarily Closed after Fights

October 11, 2010 Updated Oct 12, 2010 at 7:53 AM EDT

By WKBW News

October 11, 2010 Updated Oct 12, 2010 at 7:53 AM EDT

AMHERST, NY (WKBW) As Halloween nears, some here in Western New York are in the business of scaring people.
But late Saturday night, it was anything but business as usual at the Frightworld haunted house on Sheridan Drive.

"While there was a large group waiting outside to go in, we had information that some people showed up with the intention of starting fights," Assistant Amherst Police Chief Timothy Green said Monday.

Police say at least 40 people were involved in a large-scale fight on Saturday in the parking lot near the Frightworld and a TJ Max location. A young girl was sent to the hospital after being reportedly hit by the butt end of a gun. A knife was also recovered by police.

Frightworld General Manager Stephen Szeortyka commented on the fight Sunday night. "The altercation happened in the parking lot it was not associated with our amusement park here."

This is the second fight in or around Frightworld in the last 2 weeks, causing local police to temporarily shut them down. "The importance of the safety of our patrons is key. So if it takes us to shut down for one day just to let the crowds cool down and the tempers cool down we'll definitely do it," Szeortyka said.

Fellow haunted house owner Chris Harter defended Frightworld, calling the incident "unfortunate."
"Halloween's a fun time of the year. We look forward to it, our customers look forward to it, and our goal is to entertain and that's what we do best," Harter said.

Amherst Police will meet with Frightworld representatives this week to discuss safety and security issues. Frightworld is scheduled to reopen on Thursday.