Is A Serial Killer-Themed Haunted House Too Much?
Halloween is the most socially appropriate time of year to splatter fake blood on your walls and pretend that bowl of peeled grapes is your eyeball collection. But how far is too far when it comes to really scaring the bejesus out of people? Family members of victims murdered by Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy say a “serial killer”-themed haunted house in New York City is it.
“Killers: A Nightmare Haunted House” is a 25-minute tour through an annual haunted house (the theme of which changes each year) in which actors play various killers that you encounter as you wind your way from room to room. Guests in “Killers” will ovehear creepy things like a murder getting zapped in an electric chair and victims screaming. A bunch of murderers will be represented, though the producer said he purposefully did not include any murder stories from the tri-state area in an effort to be sensitive.
Families of murder victims, as well as a family-of-victims’ advocacy group, still find the haunted house distasteful. I have to say I agree with them, to a degree. Of course, the producers are allowed to do whatever they want creatively; it’s not like anyone can stop them from having bad taste. They’ll just have to see how New Yorkers respond to this year’s morbid theme.
But perhaps it’s time for a lesson in Compassion 101. It’s too soon to be using murder victims’ deaths for cheap thrills around Halloween. At least slasher films like “Hostel” have the decency to be fictional. We don’t need to mine real-life horror and heartbreak for our entertainment. I mean, is next year going to be 9/11-themed?
Certain things have to be held sacred and treated with respect. There’s pllll-eenn-tttty of other themes this haunted house could have done that would prey on other commonly held fears. Why not pick a theme that doesn’t hurt those who have already suffered so much?
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