View Full Version : Is this Haunted House WAY TO FAR OVER THE TOP Controversal? I do!

09-29-2012, 04:32 PM
Do you think this haunted house is EXTREMELY controversial depicting real life serial killers in his haunted house. Let me chime in yeah... the guy is a an idiot for doing this. Real people murdered, some eaten, raped and worse by these people and I believe have nothing to do with Halloween. This is very sad attempt to whip up controversy and make money in my opinion! I've said a 100 times that haunted houses shouldn't relate themselves to real life horror, a real life murder, or for God Sakes a real life serial killer like Ted Bundy who raped woman and killed over 30 of them. This guy is out of his mind and giving Halloween and Haunted Houses a bad name in my book! A haunt like this takes us back 25 years when everyone thought haunted house owners were devil worshipers. Just my view.

Watch the story... http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_york&id=8828773


john haines
09-29-2012, 04:43 PM
PLUS...........the news station NEVER should have sensationalized the story. NOW, they'll only do MORE BUSINESS........... Do I agree with this attraction? NO. (just my opinion)

09-29-2012, 04:54 PM
PLUS...........the news station NEVER should have sensationalized the story. NOW, they'll only do MORE BUSINESS........... Do I agree with this attraction? NO. (just my opinion)

I agree, they just gave them more business, people will go out there JUST BECAUSE its controversial, and to see what its all about. I think the idea is making entertainment out of real events, which happens in media and other outlets as well... so its not all that uncommon, nevertheless, i don't agree with it, it is wrong, just not new. ( only new to the haunt industry)

09-29-2012, 05:16 PM
If this is right someone should do an Adolf Hitler haunted house... I mean seriously! Like c'mon Ted Bundy raped and killed woman and Gacy raped and killed boys. This is just sick! Everyone is all bent out of shape over what Jerry Sandusky did... I mean c'mon Sandusky is a complete SAINT compared to Gacy who raped more boys and he killed them and buried them under his house!!! Larry

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-30-2012, 01:18 AM
I can't believe there are still haunters out there that think they know what is the "right way" to haunt. Nobody has a right to say that someone should not try new things. If people find it offensive or disgusting they won't go.

Everyone has a right to present their artistic vision without being told that they are terrible for doing it or that they are bad for the industry. Nobody has completely figured out this business and what will always work. I wish more people would grow a pair and stop thinking that their way is the right way and suggest that someone else's way is wrong.

I guess we should close down all the wax museums & not allow anyone to ever make another movie about a serial killer. It is the exact same thing! Geez, if it were not for some movies that are at least loosley based on real life serial killers, some haunts would never come up with any room ideas. Nobody ever had a room with Leatherface or Norman Bates? Hmm... based loosley on Ed Gein. Oh Yeah!

I say good for him for stepping out of the box and trying something new. More haunted attractions should try and come up with creative themes and then I wouldn't have to visit haunts that feature Jason, Michael, Freddy, Leatherface, Pinhead, Polka dots, strobe lights and drop down window! Would I have done this? Probably not, but I sure won't knock him for trying it either!

Every day I am a little bit happier that this is my final year. I am so sick of this holier than thou attitude that exists in our industry. Makes me want to puke!

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-30-2012, 01:36 AM
Larry, Sandusky is a complete SAINT compared to Gacy. So, the number of peopel you rape make a differenc? He's not as bad of a guy because he only raped one or a few people instead of 30? Does not matter. Sick is sick.

I am also curious if this attraction wanted to buy a featured ad spot on your site, purchase an large ticket item from you or paid you to build a haunt for them if you would refuse to do so because of what you think of the content of his attraction?

09-30-2012, 02:23 AM

Yes Sandusky is a saint compared to Gacy... there is NO comparison. Gacy raped over 20 boys and killed them and buried them under his house. Yes there is a MASSIVE difference. Two NO I would NOT sell him a banner! Period!

Hey I've spent my entire life promoting the haunted house industry and in the first 10 years or so it was to turn around misconceptions about what we all do... only to have a few idiots prove us all wrong. Larry

09-30-2012, 06:59 AM
Theres no doubt Larry would take the money.

Like everyone else, I think you knew the answer before you asked it.


09-30-2012, 07:07 AM
So if calling calling a haunt psychoward offends people and that's what u do . then f those people that are offended and we have to stand strong against these people because they are only after us cause they can.... But movies can get away with it just fine...no one has a problem with a movie about taboo subjects....but if a haunt does something that personally offends u . then it is important to post this review of what is being offered as disgraceful and bad for us all ?? That is a double standard.... Why ? It's ok to have chopped up body parts covered in blood with an actor weilding a machete or a bat or any other killing machine and that's fine .. The argument could be made that these murderous scenes are fine without an actual killer attached because their are real victims ... But I guess that same case could be made for victims of being psychotic ....a real life horror for way more people than victims of serial killers.... Hmmm ... Discraceful a haunted house would ever do that ? What does that have to do with Halloween ??? . Not to mention all the other things we do that has little to do with the origins of Halloween ...today it seems to me ...that it is more of a celebration of evil.... And it's many forms...no matter how u slice it

09-30-2012, 07:29 AM
I'm of two minds about this and, as usual, I feel like there are extremes on both sides of the issue.

Do I think the concept is tasteless...yeah probably. Would I build that haunt or go to it? Probably not. As a vendor, would I supply them? Probably not. I have turned people down before. Would I try to stop them from opening? Probably not.

Here's the deal...yes, we all have the right to think how we want and even to express those thoughts how we want. I am a Libertarian so I'm pretty hands off when it comes to what others can and can't do. However, from the other side of the aisle, I think it's a little ridiculous to say that there is nothing that would be out of line for a haunted house, or any other art medium, to do. I think there are some standards of decency that exist for a reason...but I still would probably not try to keep any haunt from opening but rather just not support it with my money.

It's a tricky and sensitive subject for sure and one that I know I struggle with a lot each year when we produce our new product line. I want to make something scary, different, fun, etc. but I am always trying to be mindful of what we are producing and exactly what kind of content I'm putting out for public consumption. I personally don't put out any props, effects, etc. that I'm not comfortable with and have had to turn down work once or twice because of that. Again, I didn't try to stop any haunt from doing what they wanted to do...I just simply and politely had to decline to help them with their project. They do have a right to express themselves...but I have a right to not assist them.

In the end...it's all about personal responsibility. If you want to open that haunt then go to town, but own it. If the public reacts badly and there's a backlash you'd better own that too.

09-30-2012, 07:54 AM
Kipp...long time my friend
victims are victims and real life...like being shot ...i wonder how many people are shot every single day...
dont you do an effect like that for the darkness and many other haunts ??
see the double standard.. its soo clear when u start slicing up whats acceptable evil

09-30-2012, 09:56 AM
Kip, are saying you ask how haunts/clients are going to use your products before you will sell to them? And if you do not like it you won't sell to them?

Jolly Pumpkin
09-30-2012, 02:10 PM
I find the concept to be pretty unique and I'm shocked that it hasn't really been done before. I can see family members of the victims being upset, but the general public shouldn't be. From what I saw in the video, it looks pretty tame compared to a lot of haunts I've been through. Like Badass said, why is it okay for movies to focus on real life serial killers, but it's not okay for haunts to do the same thing? I've been touring hundreds of haunts for close to 20 years and the only one that offended me was a church ran haunt (aka Hell House) because they tried to force people to pray in a circle with other people.

I guess I have thick skin because I like the controversial haunts. They're the ones that you won't have a hard time remembering. I've had people offend me, but haunts don't. There are even people who get offended by sex being used in haunts, but are just fine with blood and gore. This doesn't make any sense to me. People just need to lighten up and enjoy haunts for what they are. They're made to entertain you and some haunts will have a different approach in scaring you whether it be through educating you, shocking you, making you laugh, scaring you or a combination. In the end you should be entertained and feel that you got your money's worth. That's all that really matters.

09-30-2012, 02:43 PM
Badass...long time indeed! Yes, we have an effect of a zombie being shot by a really handsome hunter (me)...but I'm looking at the underlying concept of what we put out. We try to never put out an effect that is obviously glorifying evil or showing violence that we're not comfortable with. For instance, one of the pieces we were planning a few years ago was going to show a girl struggling with a bad guy only to be brutally murdered by him and her severed head be carried off as a prize. When we thought more about it, I decided I was uncomforatble with the level of violence against a helpless female victim so we scrubbed it. Are we always going to be perfect? No. Will we occasionally offend people even though we try really hard not too? Yes. The point is, we try really hard to put out material we feel good about and simply won't go against what we feel about our work. If we think it's not a good idea to release a product...we won't.

As for the comments I made about refusing work...I was more referring to custom work we have been approached about that i didn't feel comfortable filiming. There was one client, for instance, that wanted us to film action that I thought bordered on a snuff film so we simply declined to produce that piece. I can't police what each client does with our stock products...but we can pick and choose the custom projects we take on.

We all walk a tight rope with what we personally feel comfortable with showing in our attractions. Everyone's rope simply hangs in a different location...

09-30-2012, 03:29 PM
a rope is such a perfect analogy..
to many people whos ancestors were slaves....
a noose is extremely offensive....but you don't ever hear of a haunt owner taking that into consideration...
because the offended have been conditioned not to speak out...because of the majority of societies opinions ?
see what a tangled web we weave when throwing morality into this biz ?
its sad to see a haunt owner called an idiot on an industry forum for being offensive...
its the total glass house concept...and extremely unprofessional.....
and personally i am offended by these kinda of statements and how we are perceived by others viewing this forum...

Marr Branch
09-30-2012, 05:50 PM
The introduction to my haunt is a funeral home. We have wreaths, music, casket, and it smells like a funeral home. The undertaker explains the backstory and tells you the rules while having a funeral for Mr. McGregor Edmundson Krabbs "yes thats the real name". I thought to myself the first year maybe some customers just lost a loved one and may be offended? Maybe they had just recently had to go to a funeral for Grandma. Then I thought F**K IT, this ain't a boyscout jamboree this is the Marr Branch. Nobody's ever complained but if you think about it what is most everyone afraid of Death. Man I wish somebody would call WRAL in Raliegh and tell them they we're offended in my haunt. I might crack the 2'000 mark.

Haunted Prints (EOM)
10-01-2012, 04:41 PM
I thinks its a pretty cool concept. As others have said, movies, TV shows and depict these real life murders all the time. You gotta take it for what it is, Entertainment. If you don't like it, don't go.

10-01-2012, 05:05 PM

What do I think?

I think my haunt is better than his and that's all I've got to say about that....

Pumpkin King
10-02-2012, 04:26 PM
Honestly? I don't see much of a problem with this haunt. The idea of an off-color plot line is not really new to our industry, and I think history has proven such haunts to be quite successful with their patrons.

Look at House of Shock. When they first opened they were criticized like crazy for their depiction of the church of Satan, people thought they were recruiting kids into satanism. Now though, they're one of the most popular haunts in the region, and are hugely succesful probably thanks to this extreme element of their show. Another example is Haunted Hoochie, mainly the shotgun suicide scene. Do you seriously think that skit went over well when they first introduced it? But look at the Hoochie now, they have huge crowds and loyal fans. Are there people that shouldn't go through Haunted Hoochie? Heck ya! But these people know what the Hoochie has in store for them and stay away, leaving those who can handle the gore to appriciate what they're doing. After all, isn't all horror inherently dirty?

Bottom line is that this haunt is no different. They may not have the reputation of House of Shock of Haunted Hoochie, but in respect to thier off-coloredness they are just the same. This guy can't please everyone, but he knows his target audiece: young New Yorkers. And in the end, if anyone is going to stick up for his freedom of speech, shouldn't it be his fellow haunters? The second we let censorship control our industry we lose our creative freedom. Just my $0.02


Howie Slobber Erlich
10-02-2012, 04:51 PM
Well said Pumpkin King!

10-02-2012, 05:44 PM
I think these guys are geniuses. The fact they we're talking about proves it. People want realism and nothing's more real that real life killers. It's unique and smart and that's good business they'll do great!


10-02-2012, 09:39 PM
Brutal reality is king...
and the Hooch proves it every single day...

now i am not saying this haunt is any good..it might be ..or it might be a complete cheese factory..
but our industry leaders should recognize its not the 80s anymore..
people are well educated in horror and thrive on it....we do not run from controversy..we hit it head on...
this is art ...our art ...and our right to express it and sell it to a anxious audience always waiting for the next gory detail...
callin another haunter an idiot for doing brutal reality is asinine.... and is libel...i would probably sue...he got a prime spot on the afternoon news ...and his doors are still open..
and who is talking about it.. ? us...he must be readin the haunted hoochie playbook

the public yearns for something different...something more then the same old same old haunt...
and they will travel long distances to get it...
we have a great hotel package...
they will shuttle you to and from our haunt and the hotel...pretty sweet..and all the debauchery u can handle

10-03-2012, 09:56 AM
The whole Borden family was real and we as an industry use it every year, it's cheesy by now, but it was still real....that's all I'm sayin lol.

10-06-2012, 11:51 AM
This is an old idea. Lizzie Borden was mentioned. And people use Jack the Ripper all the time. And whose house doesn't have at least one room decorated in the finest Gein?

Real killers are used all the time. Because, as scary as endlessly reworked 80s slashers are, Jeffrey Dahmer lived down the street, not on celluloid. He really could eat you.

I suspect the house itself will be too static and museumy to generate too much after the buzz of the news article dies down. Pity, because it's something that could be scary.

11-09-2012, 12:05 PM
I dig the idea, I like to push the limits of what people find offensive in my attraction. Some customers hate it, MOST love it. I think it's a great way for a haunt that doesn't have a huge budget to set themselves apart.

Jim Warfield
11-09-2012, 08:47 PM
..and not for revenge!
Many moons ago I built a motorcycle wreck into the huge dent in the side of my car, complete with a skeletal rider. This was scary, gory, but impossible, so it was actually funny, unless you were scared by seeing it.
Then in this small village a Sophmore in the local high school was killed as he and his friend were attempting to ellude the Policeon a motorcycle. His head hit a trailer hitch as they sped up a private driveway in the dark.... and there is my skeleton on a motorcycle....
I needed some kind of door or divider in an attic room. I created this room into a closet.....then maybe a month later a very pretty Freshman girl killed herself, by hanging herself in her closet.....A group would come here for a tour, I might know one or two of them, then I made a joke about a coffin, nobody even smirked, They all just came from Grandpa's funeral! (How was I to know?)
One opinion concerning the murder's house in New York was he should have asked permission or something of the victim's family, film makers do this when making a documentary film of factual and often tragic true events. (I never knew this?)
I have one room with some Nazi stuff. I am actually making fun of them, but some people take offense, can't see or notice the intended humor?
"What would a Jewish person think about this?"
"I don't know, maybe I'll ask my Grandfather Katzenburger?" ("Where is my Oui-Ja board?")
I have had So Many people see my Crawlspace exhibit, which has no mention of John Gacy, but so many people have told me they lived near him who come to my house that it really makes me wonder?
A few years ago a young woman who only worked here for one night said that she used to serve coffee late at night to Gacy in the resturant she worked at, and one of her classmates had been one of his victims!?
I really do not try to upset or offend people. The crawlspace effect has "something" crawling towards you under the dirt, not something any of his victims ever got to do, as far as anyone knows.
I have never had bloody displays here, no serial-killer stuff at all. No loud sound defects, no strobe lights, no manufactured ear or eye pain here from me or this house, have fun, come back again!

11-09-2012, 08:49 PM
Personally, I think what he's done is fine. It's too hard to please everyone. There will always be people who don't like your idea. Given that amount of time that's passed and how many other ways these evil people have been exploited makes this haunt seem less shocking. He isn't glorifying he's horrifying. Looks like people liked it too. He also got a lot of reviews from some decent websites: http://www.iscareyou.com

Jim Warfield
11-10-2012, 12:09 PM
What ever works... "Works.
difficult to argue with that.