Haunted house focused on disabled vets to open in October

Waunakee Village Board approves rezoning for attraction based on veterans' hospital

A proposed haunted house that’s based in part on a hospital for disabled vets is moving forward.

Scaryland, proposed to open just outside the town of Westport, received some negative feedback from neighbors who said the idea is disrespectful to vets and would bring noisy crowds to the area.

The village of Waunakee, however, technically has rezoning authority over the piece of land and thus had the final say in the future of Scaryland. Monday, the Village Board voted 4-2 in favor of temporarily lifting a stipulation in the current rezoning there to allow Scaryland to open in October. That temporary rezoning will expire at the beginning of November.

Waunakee board members say they were following the wishes of the Westport Town Board, which voted to recommend rezoning earlier this month. That vote followed one by the Westport Plan Commission, which had voted against recommending re-zoning back in August. Westport residents, though, say the decision goes against their wishes.

“Ninety-eight percent of the neighbors are opposed to it,” said Nicholas Mischler, who lives near Scaryland. “We would expect our officials to be listening to those neighbors.”

“We are happy that Westport and Waunakee decided to give us a chance this year to do conditional rezoning and show everybody it’s going to be a lot of fun and not very many problems,” said Guy Kitchell, owner of the haunt.

Scaryland will open Oct. 3 and stay open for all nine weekend days in the month of October. Before Kitchell is allowed to open the haunt, the Waunakee Village Board directed Scaryland to meet more than 20 conditions of approval, most of which are safety inspections.