An employee of a Halloween haunted house was placed on leave this week after a patron sustained a knife wound while visiting the attraction.
According to the Tennessean, 29-year-old James “Jay” Yochim was stabbed Friday night at Nashville Nightmare in Madison, Tennessee. The victim was at the haunted house with several of his friends, who had accompanied him throughout the night. Nashville Nightmare is an elaborate event that includes multiple haunted houses, an escape room, carnival games, and vendors—pretty much everything Yochim loves about the holiday.
“Halloween is, ask any of my friends, my favorite time of year […] We'd had so much fun, we were jumping around," he told the Tennessean about his experience earlier in the night.
The situation took a horrific turn when Yochim and his friends came across a costumed individual who they assumed was a cast member. The unidentified man went on to hand one of the friends a knife and suggested she stab Yochim as retaliation for a joke. The friend played along and jammed the knife into Yochim’s arm.
“Keep in mind, we'd been chased by chainsaws, holding other weapons, all kinds of stuff all night, and it was all fake,” Yochim said. “So she stabs at me with it, and everything got really black.”
Yochim said the purported employee began to freak out once he saw all the blood. He allegedly told the group that he was unaware of how sharp the weapon actually was and began to apologize.
Yochim was then transported to the emergency room, where doctors determined no arteries, bones, or tendons were damaged; however, a physician is still monitoring the man’s recovery.
Nashville Nightmare, owned by Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group, said they have dismissed the employee while they conduct an investigation.
“As we have continued to review the information, we believe that an employee was involved in some way, and he has been placed on leave until we can determine his involvement,” haunted house organizers said. “We are going over all of our safety protocols with all of our staff again, as the safety and security of all of our patrons is always our main concern.”
No charges have been filed and Nashville Nightmare said they have not been contacted by police.