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Haunted House FAQ

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provided below highlight topics and specific questions that are often asked of the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL). The information provided in the FAQs is intended to enhance public access and understanding of IDOL laws, regulations and compliance information. 

The FAQs should not be considered a substitute for the appropriate official documents (i.e. statute and/or administrative rules.) Individuals are urged to consult legal counsel of their choice. Court decisions may affect the interpretation and constitutionality of statutes. The Department cannot offer individuals legal advice or offer advisory opinions. If you need a legal opinion, we suggest you consult your own legal counsel. These FAQs are not to be considered complete and do not relieve employers from complying with applicable IDOL laws and regulations.

1. How do I know if I am exempt from the Department of Labor inspections?​

If you are a non-profit or not-for-profit organization, fill out an application for exemption, submit the required documents along with the completed and signed application for exemption to the Department of Labor.

2. What else do I need to submit other than the application to operate?​

A Certificate of Insurance listing the Department of Labor as a Certificate Holder, liability insurance must have the minimum limits as set forth in the Carnival and Amusement Ride Safety Act (CARSA).


The proper fees in the amount of $130.00.


If applying for exemption, you must also submit an application for exemption.

3. How soon before I am ready to operate my haunted house should I submit the required paperwork to the Department?​

All required paperwork should be received by the Department at least 30 days prior to operation of the haunted house.

4. How do I schedule an inspection for my haunted house?​

On the application there is a space provided to request an inspection, the inspector in your area will be notified and will contact you to confirm an inspection time and date.

5. I have Boy Scouts help me with our haunted house, is there an age limit to participate?​

Yes, they must be at least 16 years of age to actively participate in the haunt. (ticket takers or ticket sellers do not constitute an active participant).

6. What documentation is my inspector going to require when he arrives for my inspection?

Your inspector will want to see documentation of training for all operators/attendants/assistants which includes volunteer staff.


Operators/attendants/assistants must have undergone a criminal history records check, sex offender registry check and be subject to a substance abuse policy which includes random drug testing unless they are volunteers.

7. How long is my permit to operate valid for?​

The permit to operate is good thru the calendar year expiring at midnight on December 31st of the year issued.

8. Will I have an opportunity to fix any violations the inspection may reveal?​

If violations are found, an abatement schedule shall be determined by the inspector (depending on the severity of the violation).

9. How long must I maintain records associated with my workers or volunteers?​

Records must be maintained by the owner or operator for a period of two years unless the records relate to an ongoing investigation or enforcement action under the Act, in which case the records must be maintained until after their destruction is authorized by the Department or court order.

10. What do I do if there is an injury/accident in my haunted house?

  • Personal Injury Report
    • The owner or manager of an amusement ride or amusement attraction shall report a serious injury to the Department within 24 hours after occurrence of the incident by telephone or other means of immediate communication.
    • A "Serious Injury" means an injury for which treatment by a licensed physician is required.
    • An owner or manager shall confirm in writing to the Director all such accidents within 48 hours after occurrence of the incident through the Accident Reporting Form​​. The report of an accident may be a duplicate copy of the report submitted to the insurance companies.
  • Fatal Accident Reports
    • An owner or manager shall immediately report to the Director all fatal accidents resulting from the operation of an amusement ride or amusement attraction.
    • The initial report shall be made by telephone and followed within 24 hours in writing.
    • If the fatality is related to a major breakdown the Department shall initiate an investigation within 24 hours of initial notification.
    • The amusement ride or amusement attraction shall not be moved or repaired without written approval of the Department. This rule shall not be construed to hinder any action by emergency response personnel or to prevent the elimination of any obvious safety hazard.
    • The owner/manager shall afford the Department access to all facilities for inspection. He/she shall provide all information/facts known as to the cause of such accidents.