Fremont Orders Teen To Dismantle Haunted House Over Permit Issue

FREMONT (CBS SF) – Halloween is still weeks away, but already a popular Haunted House in Fremont is being forced to close its doors after the city called it a public safety hazard.

For the past seven years, Chris Stelle has transformed his parents’ backyard into an elaborate haunted house for Halloween. Thousands of friends and neighbors have been through the annual freak show.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

But this year, the city of Fremont got wise to the house, constructed mostly out of wood pallets, and declared it a safety hazard.

”We just don’t want to stop,” said Stelle. “We want to continue on with the spirit of Halloween and make people happy.”

Stelle is hoping to move the entire house to a local church, if he can get a permit from the city.

“I think it’s stupid, I really do,” said neighbor Helen Marquez. “I think they should just let it go.”

The city is giving the family until the 26th to have the house dismantled, or face daily fines.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Matt Bigler
  • Terry Furlough

    Gonzales that is..

    • Ed Bodensick

      Maybe the city should bring some of their contractors in to make the Haunted house safe. With all the bad news during the holidays it would be nice for a good ending to this story.

  • Not Chicken Little

    What in the world would you people in Fremont do without the city government to watch over you and protect you from this outrageous life-threatening hazard that could wipe out life as we know it in your city?

    I’m glad Fremont is finally addressing this since they must have solved all the crime and other problems your city used to have.

    • David Lorell Hoskins

      Twitter the city of Fremont @Fremont_CA

  • Steven Moshlak

    Appeal it to buy time. Then take it down, on 1 November.

    • Bob


      • Post


    • Carlo B.

      exactly, good call

  • Jason Budd

    Just a reminder that the government owns all property. This is communism, we just call it different things, like “zoning,” and “regulation to keep the kids safe.” But at the end of the day, if the occupier fails to pay rent (“property tax”) to the true owner (the government), or fails to obey the dictates of the true owner (the government), the true owner (the government) evicts the occupier. It’s taken almost 100 years, but the US is a communist country.

    • Jombi Jeenie

      Exactly. We are no longer a free country, folks.

      It’s time to take our country back, once city at a time.

      • The Last Real American

        That is what THEY are doing. It is called the United Nations Agenda 21 Ever notice how drastically America changed course around 1992? Just after Bush 1 announced the New World Order? The NWO is Agenda 21. Every decade had its own sound, 50’s rockabilly, 60’s the British Invasion, 70’s Motown and disco, 80’s heavy metal and pop. Ever since the 90’s began we’ve had rap/hip hop! When will it ever go away??? Freakin goin on nearly 30 years of this garbage!!!

      • Joe Palooka

        Ever since Roosevelt and the demokkkrat socialist elite grabbed power in 1933 it’s been a slow slide to state-ism. The socialist policy’s he introduced nearly broke the country and made slaves out of the working stiffs. People were still complaining about his policy’s when the war broke out in 1941.

    • Carlo B.

      WOW I honestly never thought of it that way…my mind has been opened, thank you sir.

    • jimmerz

      Per the wikipedia page: “The Assembly recognized progress as ‘uneven’ and identified key trends including increasing globalization, widening inequalities in income and a continued deterioration of the global environment”

      Looks as if our leader in Washington, is doing his part to change those key trends. Take from those who pay rent, and give to those who “can’t”, or won’t. Charge higher rent to “fix” our global environment. And to obey and give obeisance to the UN, in order to increase globalization.

    • charlie

      I agree that it is wrong for the city to do this but it is Facism, not communism. Facism is when private parties are allowed to own property as long as they use it the way government wants them to. See mousolini’s Italy.

      • Jason Budd

        That’s my point – there is no private ownership of land. Government owns the property, it just acts as a landlord to the tenant occupier. If the occupier owned the property, it would not have to pay rent (“property tax”) to the landlord (government), or ask permission to use it. When government owns all property, as it does today, that is communism.

      • Wearyman

        I hate to break it to you Charlie, but Fascism is just another form of Communism. They are brothers in ideology. Two parallel schools of thought, with Totalitarianism being the ultimate end result (even if it isn’t the “stated” goal). With either one you get with an all-powerful government being the ultimate arbiter of “fairness” and “equality”. Of course, since the only thing government does well is destroy, everyone is equally poor (except the elites, who are better than us proles, of course) and what is “fair” changes on a daily basis depending on the whim of those same elites.

        In the end, returning to the original Constitutional principles of LIMITED government is the only way to be free. Chain the government and the people will be free.

    • The Last Real American

      Free men do not pay taxes.

    • JHB

      I know it’s there, I looked in “,” in both State and Federal, but couldn’t find it, for the Regulation that one must obtain a LIcense to breathe, or pay a daily fine.
      It’ll be there by tomorrow……………..
      I DID find the Regulation that requires the Heart Beat License….

      • Wide Awake

        Actually Govt IS now regulating and taxing us to eat, breathe, and sleep.
        Its all under the auspices of ObamaCare

    • Joe Pulaski

      You should be able to eventually pay off your property tax so you can own it. What if you could cut it off at a 100% tax? Then you’ve paid for your house twice, but then it would be yours!

    • Mark

      If we are not free to make bad choices are we truly free?

  • Randy

    Euro-Frisco. What do you expect?

  • jlenta

    yeah kid, whats wrong with you? you should be out on the corner pushing meth, or shooting up a school……

    It’s never enough for these people!!

  • JB

    Send those that want to be scared on a tour of Congress..real life freaks there

    • Sarah

      We just want to scare them a little, not have them die of fright!

      • Robert

        Talk about a haunted house.

    • 51 Phantom

      OMG! Could you imagine Barney Frank popping out of a dark corner shouting “Bwoo! That could be enough to kill you.

  • LukeJohn

    Like the places that shut down little kids’ lemonade stands because they “don’t have a permit/license” The city will claim it is because of public safety but in REALITY, it’s all about money.

    Cities mile a nice amount of money from permit and license fees.

    People probably get more e.col, salmonellae and listeria attacks from “licensed” restaurants, shops with permits than from all the lemonade stands in the country.

    Ditto “illegal” haunted houses, tree-houses, etc.

    Typical bureaucratic/political greed.

  • The Grinch

    The Grinch who stole Halloween!

  • Robert

    And that is how Democrats are turned into Republicans.

    • RuRu

      Let’s hope so!!

    • Brent

      Ha, exactly what I was thinking

  • Gladys

    Someone who knows, please publish the phone numbers of the appropriate officials in Fremont.

  • RuRu

    Looks like the Liberals are on the loose. They claim they are for freedom, but only if you do as they would like. People are going to be so sorry for electing all these liberals, it is starting to seethe all over. These people are the worst. Thanks for unleashing all these crazy, looney liberals on all of us!!!
    Now the kids can’t even have a haunted house. Olive Garden says you can’t bring an American Flag in their dumpy restaurants. Little girls can’t have a lemonade stand. They will be the scourge of America, these LIBERALS

    • The Last Real American

      It’s the Russian/French Revolution all over again!!!

    • Christopher

      Liberal Democrats always pull Left demanding Republicans must compromise while they rarely reciprocate. Reps cave since they never resist the personal attacks and ultimately agree to ‘compromise’ their values. This has gone on far too long and now the Establishment Republicans are to the Left of Kennedy. The Boomers watched as the next generation Xed out virtually all forms of integrity with inane or perverse humor and over the top pathetic drama of losers in entertainment media. While news medias expanded to twenty four hour coverage they reported far less information and became tabloids to distract from the dangerous trends in Gov’t. There is virtually no investigative work in media. So many people are sheep that the wool has been an abundant eye covering. Conservatives tend to like reliable consistency and and not being wasteful. Liberals tend towards being disorderly and undisciplined, demanding of others while resisting any responsibility to reciprocate. No give and take (business, trade) -just take, take, take.

  • BigBoa

    Jason Budd you are exactly correct. Now, if the mighty Boa lived in the area, he might consider aiding in a protest. But remember when they began to wage war against people smoking? And so many people failed to stand up for people’s rights then? Well, the mighty Boa would have to figure you don’t HAVE to have a Haunted House. Nobody HAS to ski, and risk breaking their leg. Nobody HAS to play softball on the weekend, and sprain an ankle. Those people would be running up medical costs……

  • “For the past seven years”, NOW it’s a “safety hazard”? « et cetera*

    […] Town Orders Teen To Dismantle Haunted House Or Face Fines…  via Drudge FREMONT (CBS SF) – Halloween is still weeks away, but already a popular Haunted House in Fremont is being forced to close its doors after the city called it a public safety hazard. […]

  • Town Orders Teen To Dismantle Haunted House Or Face Fines | Victors Post

    […] (CBS SF) – Halloween is still weeks away, but already a popular Haunted House in Fremont is being forced to close its doors after the city called it a public safety […]

  • Bob Peterson

    Or maybe change it to obama-sama.


      • metastar

        I see fake birth certificates.

      • Ewe Jankass

        I thnk there’s a whole in your tin foil hat there….better get to fixing it.

      • Ewe Jankass

        Put your tin foil hat back on there, idiot.

    • JustAGuy

      Hey Ewe Jankass, is there a whole in his tinfoil hat or a half?

      Personally, I suspect excessive use of photoshop.

    • Monsta Ward

      How does that even make sense?

  • Bob

    Claim it’s a Wall Street protest.
    You’ll have no problems!

  • David Griffin

    They only want to protect you comrade

  • porchhound

    Most gov’t officials believe authority not exercised is no authority at all…little tyrants get exposed on the internet daily…if they had donated the money to La Raza or the Gay Alliance the city would have let them alone.

  • TD

    I think we all should call it iHalloween, maybe then they would allow it!

  • mobildata

    There is nothing like a good olde fascist dictatorship to make people right at home on planet earth. It boggles the mind to wonder how human beings can treat one another this way. Is really worth the paycheck?

    • heatherfeather

      The fine collector, fee charger, and code enforcer aren’t completely human. They are parasites in human form.

      • Theodore R. Smith

        As are the pharmacists who willfully sell people life-saving drugs that cost $0.01 to make and charge the individual humans $1,000 per month to take. There’s a special place in Hell for all these people.

  • NorCal

    Already on FaceBook – showing how stupid the City of Fremont officials are!!! Complete idiots

  • Kevin

    Isn’t there at least 1 poster who tihnks it might be dangerous?

    You’d all be screaming bloody mureder if people were injured or killed in a fire I know how can that happen in structure made of pallets, probably with candles nearby?

    Think it can’t happen,? Here’s a true haunted house horror story:


    • thedwaytou

      Your point is meaningless Six flags had state local and federal approval.

      • Kevin

        My point has meaning to people concerned with safety.

        I can’t even tell what your point is.

        Are you saying if they had the approvals it was fine that 8 teenagers died?

        BTW, your comment they had state & Federal approvals for their haunted house isn’t even true.

        They had no permits.

        And there are no federal building permit.

        If you think the US Govt is overreaching maybe it’s because you pull untrue claims about them out of your butt.

        And because they’re from your butt, where you keep your head, you think they’re fine.

    • i'mnotafraid

      You are an ass. If you’re so afraid of everything stay in your house and STFU. Life is full of dangers large and small, real and imagined. You probably wear a helmet to walk your dog, that is if you’re not afraid to own one.

    • K.J. Pierson

      People make a conscious decision to go into the house. We don’t need government regulating a decision beyond that. What’s next passed that.

      “We’re sorry sir, we have detected you are 1 lb overweight today, you are not allowed to eat that.”

      If people choose to go into the haunted house, its their choice. Let the people wanting to go thru it sign a liability waiver and all is set. Government permits and all about safety is just a scam, usually thats the worst things to touch as once you have the permits, then you’re free to relax all your safety.

    • Theodore R. Smith

      It’d be a tragedy, sure, but government regulations infringing on a sovereign individual’s right to utilize his paid-for private domicile is not worth the extra potential savings.

      What I’m saying is that it’d be better — far better — to have hundreds die a year in a million “haunted” shanties than to restrict EVERYONE”s liberties in such an abyssian way.

      It would be a loss of life, but people would wise up and not put themselves in danger. Let’s man up and accept our own responsibility. No one is forcing people into any sort of fire hazard at a haunted house.

      Live free or die.

      • jose

        Live free or KILL! That is the Texas moto!!!

      • Kevin

        Thanks for your well articulated reply.

        I guess we just differ on what’s more important, principle or reality.

        I ask myself if I were in the blazing pallet structure would I agree the reality of the horrible death I’d be facing is less important than the principle that government should let its citizens do any stupid thing they want.

        The majority of posters seem to think the decision should be to protect the rights of people to be stupid.

        And judging by a lot of the posts they seem to want to protect their rights because they feel a strong kinship with those stupid people.

    • David

      8 victims 27 years ago? While tragic, these disasters seem to be extremely rare. I can’t rely on a government system to eliminate all risk in my life.

    • alex

      Kevin everyone enjoys jumping on the bandwagons of others. It is easy to yell and scream upon what people are doing now adays but they have very little ideas upon what to change for the better other then no more government involvement and we all know that isnt a real solution.

      I’m with oyu on the severe fire hazard and glad someone stepped in. At this point I’ve tried to argue my point but the only thing I ever get back is how much I’m some government loving big brother loving kinda guy. When really it could be further from the truth.

      The only solution I have seen is to let natural selection takes it course and thin out the herd my friend.

      Maybe some of them should get a clue and read the NFPA. That would take too much time though……

  • Zomboid

    Sounds like somebody in city hall wants his cut and the honest citizen told him to do his own haunted city hall.

  • theJackal

    Just turn it into a gay/latino haunted house and they would advertise it for free. What a joke, the town figured, hey we aren’t making any money off this, lets kill it.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Guide To The Holidays
Shine A Light On The Holiday Season With ‘Giving Tuesday’

Listen Live