Haunted attraction in Port of Dubuque to open - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Haunted attraction in Port of Dubuque to open

Dark Chambers is in the old Varner Building in the Port of Dubuque Dark Chambers is in the old Varner Building in the Port of Dubuque

A new attraction in the Port of Dubuque is scarily close to opening.

It's the first haunted house in Dubuque city limits in years, and owner Trent Johnson is putting on the finishing touches for its opening Friday.

This attraction, called Dark Chambers, is in the Port of Dubuque, which is a major hub for local tourism and a symbol of Dubuque's growth. City officials have given it the green light, after routine inspections and permitting.

"Started off just down at the fire marshal's office," Johnson said. "Stopped in, said, 'Hey, I want to do a haunt. Where should I start? What can I do?'"

Dubuque fire marshal Mark Ludescher has been helping Johnson's attraction come into compliance with all safety regulations and rules. Those include emergency lighting and a tourist capacity of 50 people going through the attraction at one time.

"The Port is a pretty nice area, and we want to make sure that if we have an event down there, it goes off well, and he's been more than accommodating," Ludescher said.

In twisting through all the official channels, Johnson, a tenacious 24-year-old, avoided a red-tape nightmare.

"You do it right the first time and it's a lot easier," he said.

The attraction accessible to everybody.

"That was one of the bigger areas that he had to overcome, was the ADA requirements - not only outside the building, but inside the building, to be able to get a wheelchair through, so that people confined to wheelchairs would be able to enjoy the haunted house also," Ludescher said.

Dark Chambers has been in the works for about one year, and Johnson said this opening run will tell whether the attraction lives on in coming years.

The attraction opens Friday and runs Thursdays through Sundays for the rest of October. It's Website is HERE.

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