The state Labor Department has accused a
Muskogee businessman of breaking the law by hiring 13-year-olds and overworking children in a haunted house. Labor Department spokesman Trey Davis said Jeff Hiller of The Castle of Muskogee was cited for hiring workers too young and working them past 7 p.m. and too many hours a day. He received 13 citations.
"We're a seasonal employer. They were in a haunted house," Hiller said. "The kids asked to be in it, and the parents all gave their permission." A parent complained to the Labor Department. Hiller said he would appear at a hearing in Tulsa on Nov. 17 to contest the citations.
"They got a chance to scare people. The kids love it," said Hiller. "We have a good reputation for the house. It's a big thing. People don't realize how big it is."
Hiller said the haunted house operated for a little more than a week. He said he knew the ages of the children when he employed them for the house and most days, the house operated from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Davis said children aged 14 and 15 cannot work after 7 p.m. and can only work three hours a day at the most during the school year.
No child under the age of 14 may be employed.