Boy Scouts' Haunted Hall sued

A Muskegon woman who said she was injured at the Boy Scout-driven Haunted Hall is suing organizers of the local Halloween attraction.
Becky Vargo
Jun 14, 2012


The lawsuit was filed June 7 in Ottawa County Circuit Court on behalf of Stacey Sidock, who suffered a broken leg in the Haunted Hall's coffin drop, said her attorney, Robert Chessman, also of Muskegon. She seeks more than $25,000 in damages.

Sidock and her 11-year-old daughter visited the Haunted Hall — which was located on VanWagoner Road in Spring Lake Township — on Oct. 14, 2011. Once inside, they were instructed to get into a coffin, which was the entrance to the Haunted Hall.

“She was frightened of getting into a closed space like that,” Chessman said. “She decided she wanted to leave the tour, but was told this was the only way out.”

Sidock says she was told that the bottom of the coffin was stable and would not open. One person jumped up and down inside the coffin to demonstrate its stability, Chessman said, so Sidock and her daughter climbed inside.

The lawsuit notes that the coffin lid closed and the bottom “dropped” open, and Sidock fell onto a slide, and then slid to the bottom of the slide.

“In the process of falling and sliding, (Sidock) sustained the injuries and the damages,” the lawsuit says.

(BELOW: Read the actual lawsuit filed in court in the Related File: Copy of the lawsuit.)

Sidock's daughter was not injured, Chessman said.

The attorney said his client incurred about $20,000 in medical expenses because of the incident. He said it has also affected her ability to work.

“She’s been trying to work as much as she can, but her work status is in jeopardy because of this,” Chessman said.

Chessman said Sidock was open to settlement discussions, but the representative for the Haunted Hall’s insurance provider did not make a settlement offer.

“They sent me a letter saying, ‘We don’t think we have any responsibility,’” Chessman said.

Michael Brower, an attorney who is a board member of the Western Youth Leadership Development that oversees the Haunted Hall, said they were aware of a possible civil suit being filed. He said the board has yet to be served the lawsuit, and he can’t comment on it.

“Everything is in our insurance company’s hands at this point,” Brower said Wednesday.

A member of a long-time scouting family in Spring Lake, Brower said this is the first complaint they’ve had since Boy Scout Troop 14 started the Haunted Hall at Spring Lake Village Hall in the late 1990s.

“I believe that our excellent safety track record for the past 13 years speaks for itself,” he said.

Brower has been involved in the Halloween event the entire time, starting out as a Boy Scout. The Haunted Hall has raised money for several charities, and the group also does a canned food drive in conjunction with it.

“It’s been wildly successful,” Brower said. “We have collected several tons of food that has been donated to Love INC."

Now that the lawsuit has been filed, Chessman said the complaint will be served to the defendant, and then attorneys will meet before deciding the next step. Chessman said he would continue to work for a settlement.



Get a life you loser!!!!!!!!!!


If this person who is suing is collecting any government benefits such as medicaid, the state should receive any monetary gain this person collects to a point the state is reimbursed for anything paid for them during this injury.


There are 2 sides to every story! Before people go bashing either side they should consider there is more to this story!!


(Speaking for myself) I was not bashing.. I am saying "if" we the tax payers paid for her medical expenses, we the tax payers should be reimbursed.. that's all I was saying.


I agree 100% people!!


She suing the boys scouts!! End of story she's still a loser!!!


She is not on Medicaid nor does she collect anything from the State! She pays for her own insurance! Newsblogger I agree with you, if she was on State Medicaid then yes part of it should go back to the State but she does not. It comes out of her own pocket, There are 2 sides to every story and blasting this woman is not right! You do not know the struggles that this has caused! She is NOT a bad person! Thank you!


I read the lawsuit at the link provided, and I am wondering. Did she walk away with a broken Tibia & Fibula? Doesn't say. Sounds like she would have been carried out. Doesn't say. But if the Western Youth Leadership Development (Boy Scouts) knew about the injuries, they sure as heck had to 'expect' a lawsuit! Tell me they weren't insured for something like this, and I would have to say that you have never tried to sponsor an event of any type.. It is why you buy insurance, to cover things like this right here.

Let me conclude by saying I despise the lawsuit mentality so prevalent today, but if it is to cover lost work & wages...that is what insurance is for.


There are always two sides for every story for sure, but in todays happy lawyer infested land with lawsuit mentality, this should not surprise anyone. It was only a matter of time, however the Boy Scouts is an honorable and respected organization but it does not isolate nor insulate them from this mentality and it's sad.
Because this one lawsuit, and the only lawsuit in this organization local Haunted Hall history will probably close the door to any future Haunted Halls. This is just a reflection of a much more deeper and serious society problem, enough said.
God Bless the Constitution.

hello dolly

I went to the Haunted Hall this year. The coffin was SUPPOSED to open up to allow the person to slide out. I am sorry she was injured but the lawsuit and article makes it sound as if the coffin unexpectedly opened and she fell out.

hello dolly

I went to the Haunted Hall this year. The coffin was SUPPOSED to open up to allow the person to slide out. I am sorry she was injured but the lawsuit and article makes it sound as if the coffin unexpectedly opened and she fell out.


I cannot believe that this women is suing here. This was definitely an accident and she needs to go with it. Unsure why she would so this to the boy scouts here.


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