Water Park Haunted House Burned To Ground

COLUMBIA STATION, Ohio - It wasn't evil spirits that burned down a haunted house at a local water park on Tuesday night. Rather, firefighters said that they suspect the ghostly burn was the work of arsonists, Action News' Wendy Gillette reported.

It's a story that you could have only seen on Action News.

The fire happened on East River Road in Lorain County on the grounds of what used to be the Wildwood Waterpark.

Smoke effects are often used at the Carnival of Horrors, but the smoke that was seen there on Tuesday night was all too real for the owner of the haunted house, Ryan Pluta. Fire roared through Pluta's two haunted houses, leaving behind just piles of ashes.

"You can see there's absolutely nothing left," Pluta said. "Things that I recognize, it's hard to look at them."

One day after the Action News chopper showed smoke billowing high into the sky (pictured, above), the fire was still not completely out. Flames could still be seen poking through the wood after the haunted house offered up its last bit of horror.

A sign at the front gate warned trespassers to stay away and a lock kept them out, but firefighters said they suspect that a group of arsonists might have sneaked in, burning $100,000 worth of supplies.

Pluta had planned to open for a six-week run in September -- his tenth year in business.

"This is our life project just burned up in flames last night," Pluta said. "Every tool we have, every costume, everything, all the lighting, it's gone."

Lorain County Sheriff's deputies held two teen-age boys for questioning on Tuesday night, but then released them to their parents. They have not yet been charged.

The owner of the haunted house did have insurance.