View Full Version : Potential Industry Problem for 2008

01-20-2008, 05:52 AM
If you have been watching the news lately you might have seen stories pertaining to Tiger Woods and the use of the word "noose" or images of nooses in Golf Magazine. Since the Jena Six controversy in Louisiana, Al Sharpton, Jessee Jackson, and the NAACP have determined the noose to be racist, in whatever context. While I am always personally mindful of not hurting anyone's feelings, or offending anyone of any race, religion, or sexual orientation, I say, "gimme a BREAK".

Several years ago, at Transworld, there was a black lady trying to look up under the hoods of different "Hanging Man" props to see if any "racist" haunted house vendors were using heads or mannekins that portray black people. I believe Larry might have had an encounter with her. Her accusations were unfounded.

To start with... this is all political. Nooses aren't inherently racist, as a matter of fact they have been an equal oppourtunity form of execution for ages. But the Al Sharptons and the Jessee Jacksons of the world need to keep racial tensions flaring to further their agendas.

The political atmosphere in October could be very tense, and the appearance of a noose in either your haunt or your advertising could spell trouble for you. If you are unprepared for the media's questions, should they arise, you could come off looking like an idiot, or even worse, a racist.

Remember, even though we live in a country that claims to embrace freedom of speech, just look back over the last year to see stories where that doesn't seem to be the case. From the cover of GOLF magazine, (that the editor was fired over), to Don Imus' ugly remarks about the girl's basketball team. Hate them, like them, or whatever, it is a free-speech issue. There might be those who might use your attraction to fan the flames.

Anyone remember the movie "The Human Stain" where Anthony Hopkin's character is a college professor that is fired over his innocent use of the word "spook". Later in the movie you are let in on the fact the he is of african-american heritage. Things like this do happen everyday. Cases blown WAY out of proportion, and end up dividing races even more.

My suggestion, be ready. If you use this imagry, these props, or graphics in your haunt, you might just get a visit from the thought police. ( D'Ann, good luck at Hangman's this year.)

I had been considering this problem for weeks now and hesitated writing about it, but I am interested in your serious opinions on this matter, in terms as to whether you think it is a potential problem for haunts.


Tim Harkleroad

01-20-2008, 06:08 AM
It was already a problem in 2007. I counted no less than 12 news stories about this topic. Here are a couple of links that are still active:







01-20-2008, 07:01 AM
i shove there nose into it and enjoy your haunt and the free advertising and have some script ready for all those smelly reporters use them the same way they use you.

cause if a hanging is due a hanging is due hum maybee i will have a news reporter out on a limb this year that will get themLOL

enjoy the day all

01-20-2008, 07:05 AM
If you do use a noose, just put Saddam in it. Historically accurate, great use for a noose.

Jim Warfield
01-20-2008, 07:39 AM
From my small northern Illiniois town vantage point I see that historically when Blacks end up in a noose it was usually because they were put there by some prejuidiced Klansmen(or likewise mentality) and he was generally an innocent, unwilling victim/participant.
The rest of the time as Whites are found hung it is usually self-iflicted and unfortunately (last I heard) was the number one way teenagers (White ) kill themselves.
Therein lies the big difference" self-inflicted or victim"? Neither one is reguarded as "Pretty" or "Funny" or "Clever" in the least by me. I will never have any such displays in my house or yard for these reasons, very valid reasons when you look at who our customers are, teenagers, and don't we all hope to be or become popular enough to attract a vast number of all races and ages to our businesses?
What was that saying? "Suicide is a perminent solution to a tempoaray problem"?
Then there are the people who have accidently killed themselves in haunted venues pretending to having hung themselves. Does death get anymore ridiculous than this?
It goes along with all of the "unloaded" guns that kill every year,and a knife is always "loaded"!

01-20-2008, 08:16 AM
you know it is just so tireing that we cant move along and let things go.
sounds stupid but when i was in grade school i was brought up to think that i was german; i always remeber hating when history came around because at that time it was so focused on the hitler and jews thing as well as blacks and slavery. it was hard because mt two best friends were black and mexican. the kids would always call me little hitler. of course the other tw friends always took alot of flack for there race as well.

i think it is time to find ways to get along and just be the american coulture we are and to stop finding ways to seperate ourselves from each other.

to sum if a Halloween yard has a hanging if it is black white asian iraqi jewish or what it should not be taken as a message but as the fun it was intended to be for. you will never get rid of all the crack pots becuase if we did then we would be ethnic clinsing of some sort.

we always seem to as an society find some one to be the Nations problem lets just all grwo up and play nice with each other and enjoy each others company and diferances.

if i drank i would say im buying the first round but i gave that up with the anger i had for years after combat years and years ago. and i dont want it backLOL

enjoy the day all

01-20-2008, 09:14 AM
The whole race thing is getting old. Why are people going out of their way to look for problems that aren't there? Why are certain races made to walk on eggshells in a the land of the Free?
This country has produced more black millionaires and even billionaires than other other country in the world, including the whole continent of Africa. I myself have a unique take on racism as I grew up and attended innner city schools in the worst of Baltimore's Eastside neighborhoods. I was the victim of racism on a daily basis because of my skin color and I stayed in a fight all through school trying merely to defend myself and pass their own "tests" as to what type of Man I was. However, I took in stride and got through it and I didn't have a Jesse Jackson or Sharpton to go to. I look at it all as a positive, I still feel I could live in any neighborhood at this point and I opened a lot of people's eyes and changed a lot of opinions through my school years....

I say live and let live....Going out of your way to agitate a certain race or religion is wrong and will not win you any good press and reputation.

Mr. Haunt
01-20-2008, 10:53 AM
I know that it has been a while since my last post, but I will put my two cents in the jar as well.

I don't like how people go around looking for something to make a big hype about. It is something that is wrong and is sad when it happens. I think it might be best to cover a false bodies head with a bag of some kind and not have a skin color or face on the head. I don't know, it's just an idea.

Haunted houses rely on these kinds of props to make the haunt more real and spooky. There never seems to be an issue when they are used in movies. Some people just don't understand that walking through a haunted house is like walking through a movie or a play.

Props and actors are not ment to offend the people walking through. Maybe this statement should be made to the public, not just national but worldwide. Haunts are ment for entertanement.

There will always be problems like this.


Killer Katie
01-20-2008, 11:36 AM
"Political Correctness" will be the ruin of our soceity. We will take it so far, then there will be a huge backlash and revolt. I agree with previous posters on the freedom of speech issue. There is no freedom of speech, if you must watch every single word that comes from your lips, in fear that there may be an offensiveness to it. I can see an issue if words are used in anger and on purpose directly at you. But why have we all taken the notion that every word could be a personal attack? The Don Imus "issue" was a joke. Banning "HO HO HO" is a joke. Renaming Christmas trees Holiday Trees is a joke. The noose issue is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. If the guillotene (bad sp) was the main method of execution at that time, then people would be up in arms about that. What will be next? Why can't we live and let live? People like the woman at transworld are what is wrong with us today. They spend so much time trying to prove they are offended, that it consumes their entire being, so that everything is a potential offense. When are we going to stop taking ourselves so seriously and start enjoying life?? I'm sick of hearing ignorance being fueled by the king of ignorance Al Sharpton himself. (before I hear about it.. I am NOT a racist, never have never will be. I don't like people based on THEM personally and NOT a generalization). And one last thought... controversy should bring conversation and resolutions, NOT lawsuits and articles written by the over-biased media.
(whew.. I feel better now that that's out)

01-20-2008, 12:05 PM
Man, it is really a shame what the world has come to.

Greg Chrise
01-20-2008, 12:47 PM
All of societies ills seam to be fixed with warning labels, signs and disclaimers.

If you are going to use a hanging person, Take an EOE sign, Equal Opportunity Employer sign, scratch out the Employer and write Executioner. Equal Opportunity Executioner. Well, that might be bad too.

One of the continously higher number of customer haunts in Texas in Hangman's in Fort Worth, Texas. The main character has been the Hangman for decades. The over all message is everyone is at risk cause he is mean. There seems to be the proper percentage of all races attending.

Some menopausal lady on a cause isn't likely to to buy a ticket, so where's the problem?

Recently they had a billboard I think in Houston? With a figure hanging from it. It was on the TV news for a week while the stir continued. The most that could be said was it was a violation of sign ordinances. The figure was changed from a rotted corpse that had been hung to a happy character and it was on the news some more! Okay if you hang one of the 7 dwarfs.

I'll bet that black lady won't make it to Las Vegas. Game over.

01-20-2008, 01:13 PM
I'll offer two different takes on this...

I know one amusement park we've worked for and the President of the company will not allow any hanging or hung props because his son had committed suicide. Any reminder of someone hanging would only serve up horrible thoughts about their son. I would have to say that I totally totally agree so no hanging props where ever introduced.

As for the racial issue, ummm it isn't one period. I've been asked about this before and found that when you believe in something firmly there is no argument.

For example I simply say and very quickly, are you kidding me... watch any western movie ever, and tell me one that doesn't feature an outlaw being hanged. When I think of hangings I think of the old west. In fact most Pirates where hung by the neck and left to hang as a warning to other would be Pirates.

One of the intro scenes to the first Pirates movie was Pirates hanging. As I said most westerns have scenes of hangings. Never in a million years would I give two cares about some Rev. Sharpton coming to my haunt and demanding I remove a hanging props...I'd tell him to take a flying leap! And I bet you a million dollars he'd take a flying leap!

Sharpton is a total fool who loves TV, he loves to be on TV, he loves creating controversy. Remember Sharpton is the guy who encouraged a young black girl to falsely accuse the police of rape. Also remember Jackson is the guy who is suppose to be a moral person, a holy man, is the same guy who had a LOVE CHILD, cheated on his wife for years, and lied to the public. These guys shouldn't even be considered important because they're the ultimate hypocrates.

Going back to Distorctions for a second... the black lady who asked them to remove their hanging props, had no right to do so. As Distortions pointed out to her the guy had white hands, he had boots on, he was NOT a lynching prop.

I believe that at some point you as a person, as a creative person have to draw the line in the sand with your own freedoms. I would never ever, put scenes in my haunted house that depicted real life horrors like recreating a real persons murder, or a Ted Bundy room, or anything of the sort. NEVER!

Furthermore I would NEVER try to offend an entire race of people through my haunted house. So if I felt I was not offending anyone I wouldn't change what I was doing no matter who asked. You can't please everyone ever.

Are you going to tell me that someone doesn't call you or email you ever single year and complain about something???

Where do you draw the line?

I've got calls that said our posters are too scary, and we should be ashamed of ourselves because children might see them... blah, blah, blah.

You should do what you think what you feel compfortable with and leave it there.

If someone brings to your attention something maybe you considering changing it maybe you don't.

Several years ago I had a falling wall scene in my haunt, and someone wanted to protest my haunt because they thought I was trying to re-create a scene where a fall had fallen on a woman and killed her. I told them that was not the case.

What can you do? We're dealing with horror, and more.

Think about this as a parting thought... you have these mental health adovcates picking on haunted houses for calling their haunts Asylums. Why do they pick on haunted houses? Because they can!

Do they go after the movie industry? I tell them this EVERY SINGLE YEAR that they try to get themselves national press, by picking on a poor haunted house.

I've written these people letters on behalf of haunt owners every year for three years straight. I don't back down from them. That is what they want you to do back down so they can prove their point in the media.


01-20-2008, 04:43 PM
on here about some protestors at a haunt that ended up creating lots of publicity and generating a lot of traffic? Like they say, the only bad publicity is no publicity.

01-20-2008, 04:46 PM
To say the noose was used primarily to lynch blacks in the south, and for white teenagers to commit suicide, is forgetting out west it was the punishment of law as well as the rest of the country for more than 200 years. Even before slaves were in this country.

Considering the population and the minority percentage, I am sure more white men have been hung than black men. And I am sure no one volunteered to be hung.

Of course, all the numbers... that's irrelevant. I don't use nooses in my haunt, it doesn't fit in my theme, but if I wanted to, I should be allowed to, regardless of who have been the victim.

I do understand your point though Jim. You might not use nooses, but someone might find Nazi Tank babes offensive, but I would defend your right to use them. Free speech is free speech. I look forward to seeing RGInn someday. How did you get that tank in the house anyway?

BTW, thanks everyone for your comments


Greg Chrise
01-20-2008, 06:08 PM
At Raven's Grin Inn, the tank is more than in the building...It's on the second floor.

damon carson
01-20-2008, 07:06 PM
This is all ridiculous! Its about everyone being politically correct ect b.s! Just like after 9/11 everyone was affraid to use terror in there name. Which is understandable. But no noose in a haunt because its racist give me a break that is taking it too far. Blacks arent the only people that were ever hung! I say use them.

01-20-2008, 07:33 PM
I am not saying "don't use them" just be prepared when the political correctionists come around.


2nd floor??? Really. Damn!

damon carson
01-20-2008, 07:49 PM
oh ya jims German tanks on the 2nd floor. Along w his smoking Natzi babes! Mr Tuxedos tank guards the side yard. I imagine Jims haunt is the only one with a tank in it. Much less on the 2nd floor. How you get that in there anyway Jim??? LOL! Did you take the back side of your house down then drive it up there on a ramp? LOL! I know its not real but how did you get the car body up on the top of your roof?

Greg Chrise
01-20-2008, 08:17 PM
That's a UFO on the roof. He hovered it up there. Then covered it with a tarp from the US Air Force so no one could see it.

01-21-2008, 12:14 AM
The whole country has gone way too P.C.. Everyone now has to be labeled something like African American, I'm like huh...

I guess most white people are European Americans. I don't know any of my ancestors from Europe just like not one of my black friends knows anyone of theirs from Africa. The only people from America are Indians they're Natives!

Everyone and I mean EVERYONE else is from somewhere else...

But since it's 2008 not 1808, at this point we should all just be called AMERICANS not labeled as something else, or from somewhere else, or anything that would say 'we are different' because that is what stokes racism.

Don't label something, just be an American. But some people make a living fanning the flames its just what they do. As for myself I'm an American along with everyone else I know that was born in America.

But you're right its way to P.C. and people are always looking to jump on you... my thinking is just stand up for yourself when you think you're right otherwise people will always step on you and make you look like you were wrong from the start!


01-21-2008, 12:25 AM
Here's a pop quiz: How do Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton put food on the table and pay the rent?

01-21-2008, 09:08 PM
Here's a pop quiz: How do Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton put food on the table and pay the rent?
Please stop this! It is not funny in the least little bit. I don't expect any of you to agree with my feelings about nooses, lynchings and hangings. But, for your so-called brotherly love of your haunted industry companions, please have a little compassion.

There's no way you could feel the way I or anyone else of color does unless you have lived in our skin. I left one forum because those I thought "loved" me changed their minds when I spoke of my feelings. I was hoping this subject would never surface here in hopes I would not be disillusioned once again by those I've come to call friends. Yet, here it is.

There are a few things due to my belief and convictions I will not have in my haunts -- witches, devils and a character hung by it's neck with a noose. I tried them one year and was convicted deep within to the max. I don't down anyone or speak ill of you if you choose to have these in your haunt because we are all different. So, please go easy on those who don't.

Peace Out

01-21-2008, 10:18 PM
I guess this world is much more evil or I am way too innocent. I NEVER and I am speaking from the heart, EVER associated the hung characters I saw at Transworld, with the real evil that some people did against those of a different race. I rather saw it as something else. Hanging a criminal or killing of a character in a movie. As long as it is not implied of the hanging being done as a hate crime, I see no real reason for a hanging scene to not be allowed. The haunt industry can push the envelope in many ways that many will see ofensive. Be it from a helpless female tied to a wall while a psycho killer taunts her with a knife, to the "crazy people " in the psych wards. I have a niece that 20 years ago most likely would have been one of those people in a psych ward as she is severely austistic. I still have a psych ward scene in my haunt though. I think 90% of the haunts out there will have at least 1 scene that someone will find offensive. If a haunt were to EVER imply that a hanging scene was celebrating, or recreating a "KKK" scene, or another hate crime, I would have real problems with that haunt owner......

01-24-2008, 02:45 PM
He//, my haunt is a Civil War cemetery, out front is Old Glory and the Stars & Bars. We have a hanging by the confederates but their hanging a Union spy. I had meny people both african american and hispanic go through my haunt and one of my guides was a african american teenage girl, no one had a problem with it. They all just wanted to have a good time and see all the scary stuff. Sometimes I think people are lead into getting mad about something that they could not even care about.

01-24-2008, 03:15 PM
He//, my haunt is a Civil War cemetery, out front is Old Glory and the Stars & Bars. We have a hanging by the confederates but their hanging a Union spy. I had meny people both african american and hispanic go through my haunt and one of my guides was a african american teenage girl, no one had a problem with it. They all just wanted to have a good time and see all the scary stuff. Sometimes I think people are lead into getting mad about something that they could not even care about.

I am old enuf and have been around long enuf to make up my OWN mind about what convicts me. Again, I don't expect you to understand, but at least care enough about those that it bothers (including me) to respect feelings. I don't dictate to anyone what they should and shouldn't have in their haunts. I don't support you any less because of what you have there -- don't cast me aside or feel ill of me because my beliefs are different from yours. Before this thread was brought up, weren't we sisters and bros in the haunted industry? Good question, because as of right now..I'm not so sure. :confused:

01-24-2008, 03:30 PM
Of course we do not think any less of you Gwen! You know we all love you! See you in Vegas darlin......

01-26-2008, 12:06 PM

Of course we love you as we all care for everyone here at HauntWorld and in the haunted attraction industry. As stated I, nor anyone here, (yourself included) would do anything to purposely offend anyone concerning race, or any other criteria.

I, being a Christian, bemoan some of my fellow Christians for labelling Halloween as Satan's Holiday. Also as a Christian, I would never do some of the scenes my pals used to do,(and probably still do) at the House of Shock. But I defend their right to do so, and I love their show.

We are all different, but we're also the same, all God's children, in my opinion. Some here might disagree with that statement. Bottom Line, we have a common love and common foes, Fire Marshal, picketers, stupid customers, drunk actors, etc.

I apologize if any of the rhetoric here offended you, that was never the aim and I don't think was done on purpose. We value you're input with this subject and all the rest. We do hope all is well within this board.

Respectfully submitted


01-27-2008, 08:33 AM
I didn't mean you any ill will, Empress. I just ment that some people, not you, you strike me as a person that can make up your own mind., are lead around when they should be making up their own minds. It is just a story and nothing more its not ment to hurt anyone.

02-06-2008, 09:15 AM
Thanks Krone Daddy, xxxdirk and SITI for your understanding comments. :)

See you in Vegas darlin......
To be honest, I was not going to attend TW. I still haven't made up my mind completely as to a yea or nae, but I'm learning toward going. If I do...I'm gonna need a roommate.

Lord Ogre
02-06-2008, 08:32 PM
Wow, I never had a problem with it at the haunted forest.

We have had a noose set up with an animatronic body and we have lots of colored people come through and I never heard one complaint from any of them.

Nor have I ever heard a complaint from the colored workers I have and roughly 25 to 35% of them are black.

My wife and I follow lots of groups through since we are dressed in costume and make-up and constantly monitor the show and interact with the customers.

I believe it will just blow over like everything else and I doubt it will be an issue by this summer let alone October.

Greg Chrise
02-06-2008, 08:58 PM
I don't think I have even heard the phrase "colored people" for 25 years or so. Don't they have TV out in the haunted forest?

02-06-2008, 10:08 PM
COLORED FOLK?!!!!!!!! "Great Scott Marty welcome back to 1950. " Holy man, I feel so dirty reading those two words. Shaking head in disbelief and praying to God Gwen does not read this post. Gwen, if you do, please understand that what was said does not represent my views. There are many of us that have evolved from the 1950's.....

02-08-2008, 04:21 PM
What are you like 95 years old, not cool!

02-10-2008, 08:02 PM
COLORED FOLK?!!!!!!!! "Great Scott Marty welcome back to 1950. " Holy man, I feel so dirty reading those two words. Shaking head in disbelief and praying to God Gwen does not read this post. Gwen, if you do, please understand that what was said does not represent my views. There are many of us that have evolved from the 1950's.....
I saw it Honey, but decided to let it go. Some people will never change.....