A teenage girl who almost died after becoming tangled in a noose at a Halloween haunted house cannot remember how the bizarre accident happened.
Jessica Rue, 18, was working as an actress at the Creepyworld attraction in St Louis, Missouri, when she was found unconscious with the prop around her neck.
It is thought that during the two to ten minutes she was left hanging, members of the public walked past her, thinking she was a gory lifesize doll.
Eventually discovered by a co-worker, Jessica, then 17, spent three days in a coma before she came to. The noose had choked off oxygen to her brain.
Jessica could also not understand why, in the weeks after she came out of the coma, she had to stay at home.
She told STLToday.com: ‘I wanted to go to school. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t go to school.’
Jessica was only two days into her job, to scare customers as they walked through a bathroom scene soaked in fake blood, when the accident happened.
Although exactly what happened may never be known, it is thought that Jessica was standing on the edge of the bathtub when she slipped and fell. Police found shoe scuff marks on the wall and inside the tub itself.
Photos taken of her injuries shortly after she was cut down show ligature marks on her neck and burns on her fingers where she had tried to pull the noose off.
In the 12 months since the accident, Jessica said she suffers from headaches, dizziness, heart flutters and even occasional blackouts.
She lives with her aunts, Nancy Hakala and Annie Hanger, who said Jessica’s personality and behaviour has also changed.
She now has to phone to ask for directions to get home and becomes easily frustrated.
Ms Hakala, who was Jessica’s legal guardian until she turned 18, said the teenager should not have been left to work alone and that the noose should have given way and not have been bolted to the ceiling.
Jessica filed a lawsuit against Halloween Productions, the firm that owns Creepyworld.
It names Creepyworld owner Larry Kirchner and two employees, Chelsey Rusbarsky and Sam Israelsen, as defendants.
The suit claims all three were negligent and encouraged actors, including Jessica, to scare customers while wearing a noose around their necks.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation into practises at Creepyworld the day after Jessica’s accident.
It found three serious violations related to fire extinguishers and ‘wiring methods, components and equipment for general use’ and Halloween Productions was fined $10,500.
This post was written by Nadia Vella