Now this is a REAL Halloween horror night!
We’ve barely even entered spooky season, and already we’ve got a story of true terror at the haunted fairgrounds. We’re not talking ghouls or goblins, just a regular guy making a super bad decision… the scariest specter of them all!
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Christopher Pogozelski, a haunted house actor, was arrested on Saturday from his job at the 7 Floors of Hell attraction at Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. The 22-year-old had admitted to switching out his fake prop knife with a real one, and ended up stabbing an 11-year-old boy.
The child was attending the attraction alongside his sister and some family friends. As they were approaching one of the five haunted houses at the site, Pogozelski approached and tried to scare them. The boy’s mother Karen Bednarski explained to The Washington Post:
“He was scraping the knife on the ground and playing around with them. And my son said to him, ‘I’m not afraid, your knife is fake.’ So the man was like, ‘Oh, it’s real. Trust me, it’s real.’ And that’s when he started poking it at his feet multiple times until he stabbed him.”
Bednarski told news5Cleveland that the staff kept insisting that “accidents happen,” because the actor hadn’t been aiming for her son’s actual foot when he began intimidating him with a very real knife. She was also bothered that the staff at first made no attempt to help her son, because “they were not certified to administer first aid.”
Rodney Geffert, president of Night Screams Entertainment, told The Post that the injury was “not intentional” and that Pogozelski (who was fired following the incident) “apologized nonstop” for causing harm. He also clarified that the actors are not allowed to touch any of the guests — or carry real weapons. He said:
“None of our actors use anything like that. It’s against park policy. He got it out without our knowledge. It’s not our fault whatsoever.”
Lt. Tom Walker of the Berea Police Department shared with news5Cleveland:
“I can’t explain why he brought the real knife. He should have been using a fake prop or rubber knife. Obviously a poor decision on his part to bring a real knife to the fairgrounds. And he’s been criminally charged with negligent assault as a result of making that decision.”
To top off this very strange story, the police report also noted that the knife apparently belonged to Pogozelski’s mom, who actually requested it back from the police! The responding officer of course “advised dispatch to tell her the knife would be in police property.”
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After all that, Geffert insisted that the group “had a great time.” But Bednarski claimed she only continued through the haunted houses to avoid making a “scene” and to make her son happy after a “traumatic experience.”
What a bizarre situation! We’re just glad that the kid is okay and only suffered a minor injury. We wouldn’t think any adults would need this reminder, but hey: playing with knives is dangerous, especially around kids. Don’t do that!
[Image via WKYC Channel 3/YouTube]