Annual haunted maze canceled over neighbor's complaint
Posted on October 28, 2010 at 6:13 PM
Updated Friday, Oct 29 at 3:37 PM
ROWLETT - A maze created by a Rowlett homeowner has been a Halloween treat for hundreds of children for years.
Byran Norfolk took weeks to plan out the haunted maze for this year and a week to actually build it, but no children will actually get a chance to give it a go this Halloween weekend.
The problem, according to the homeowner, was an unhappy neighbor who has been called a "Halloween Grinch." Due to the neighbor's complaints, the maze was canceled.
Since 2001, Norfolk has spent the week before Halloween setting up the maze.
“We have kids go through here three, four, five times," Norfolk said.
The winding hallways take thrill-seekers through a series of makeshift rooms filled with clowns, monsters and a chainsaw-toting zombie.
Thursday, Norfolk began disassembling the maze after a single neighbor complained to the City of Rowlett Code Enforcement Department about sidewalks being blocked. A sign in front of Norfolk's house reads, “Due to complaining neighbor, the 9th annual haunted maze has been canceled."
Rowlett officials told Norfolk any sidewalk obstruction violates the law. In this case, children would be forced to take a detour into the street to get by the maze.
“It’s kind of sad that we live in a country where one person can shut down the fun of hundreds of kids," said Rob Morgan, a neighbor.
Morgan’s wife, Angela, agreed.
“There's going to be a lot of disappointed people this year," she said.
Norfolk said since the haunted maze tradition began almost a decade ago, this is the first time anyone has ever complained.
“Be a neighbor," he said. "Come up to the front door to say, 'Hey, you guys are blocking the sidewalk,'" he said. "Don't call the police."
Rowlett code enforcers told Norfolk the maze would be fine as long as he moved it off the sidewalk. But, the creator of the popular neighborhood attraction said he would have to redesign the entire structure, an impossible task just three days before Halloween.
WFAA tried to find the neighbor who complained, but Rowlett officials said whoever called chose to remain anonymous.