Harlingen haunted house rises from ashes of 2008 fire

A large fire burned down Rotting Flesh Factory one year ago because it lacked the proper fire fighting system. The fire burned destroyed the entire building and rendered it useless, forcing John Cook, owner and creator of the Rotting Flesh Factory, to start over.

One year later, the sounds of a newly installed fire sprinkler and alarm system echoed throughout the popular Halloween favorite. This time, the house is located in Downtown Harlingen. Cook said he remembers the exact cause of the fire.

"Apparently one breaker was not turned off properly, he said. It caused a spark which caught material on fire which made its way to the roof."

Now, established in the new location, the excited workers of Rotting Flesh are gearing up for the many visitors they TMre expecting during the opening week, bringing this spooky business back to life.

"We felt we put on a quality show, Cook said, remember the previous years. The people really enjoyed it, so we decided to come back and fight for it again."

This time, Cook took all necessary precautions to ensure another major incident like last year would not happen again. Throughout the entire building, a brand new fire prevention system hangs on the walls and on the ceiling.

"All emergency exits are illuminated. We have a voice announcement system and then break away doors. And an emergency corridor with 3 energy exits throughout the haunted house," he added.

Many of the visitors might think the sounds of a fire alarm in a scary house simply add to the ~scare factor TM, but for Cook the fire last year taught him one important lesson.

"Safety is number one, then it TMs a good scare and from there all priorities fall into place."

His new priority is that the visitors walk away by feeling scared by the haunted house TMs set up and not by potential dangers.

The Rotting Flesh Factory will be open every weekend of October. Its hours will be 8 to 12 a.m. on Fridays, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturdays and 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Sundays. The new location of the haunted house is Van Buren and E Streets.