The National Alliance on Mental Illness vs The Haunt Industry...
The National Alliance on Mental Illness has been bashing haunts for using terms like "crazy" and "asylum" and to score some press and a cheap win went after the mega amusement park Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio for using the words "crazy" and "Dr. D. Mented" among others. You can see the article and over 200 posts at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39616122/
I know this is something Pennhurst Asylum has been having trouble with and I know it is something that pops up somewhere every year. The "board" trying to skewer Randy Bates and Pennhurst should read this and learn where real funding to save structures comes from.
I know I am preaching to the choir here but I thought I would share my post regarding Cedar Point standing their ground and not caving:
THANK YOU to Cedar Fair and Cedar Point for standing up for themselves and for common sense. As has been said in over 200 posts, we can discern between "Cancer Ride" and "Crazy Ride".
The Halloween holiday and industry is second only to Christmas. Haunted attractions around the country in combination with the industries that support them (vendors, etc), just like Cedar Point's Halloweekends, bring in literally billions of dollars in revenue for everything from backyard haunts to mega attractions and every fake jack-o-lantern sold in-between.
The majority of these attractions base their theme on some form of institution gone bad, and terms like "crazy", "demented" and other variations are concise ways to advertise the theme of an attraction. Do you know how many attractions go by the name "Asylum"? There is one in every state! Do you know the number one way former asylums are saving their beautiful architecture from demolition? By running haunted attractions inside the very institutions where "what we can't speak of" took place. The number one money maker all year for places like Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is their Halloween haunted attraction. An awful lot of rooves have been put on 100+ year old buildings because someone was willing to say "Insane". Is that a horrible thing? Should the building have fell? Standing on the high ground sure hasn't saved many structures. I think we'll all survive!!
You go after Cedar Point because they are a major corporation and you can scare them with press, but what you forget is you are making your presentation in front of people who are tired of everyone from the idiot who wants to take God off the dollar bill to money wasting bureaucrats who use similar tactics to senseless litigants ruining our country. WE CAN SAY SOMETHING! WE CAN READ SOMETHING! CEDAR POINT CAN NAME SOMETHING! And we can make decisions about these freedoms without the help of some organization.
I have a bachelors in Psychology that I spent years getting and I have visited locations like The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas which was the former hospital and asylum of an actual "mad doctor" that cut the tops of skulls off and poured in various concoctions, claiming to be curing cancer. You don't think this sounds like the good backstory for a haunted attraction? You don't think this sounds like an interesting movie? Maybe in getting past the bachelors to the Phd level you've drank a kool aid the rest of us did not get.
Atrocities happened in the mental health community and elsewhere behind closed doors. Now you are trying to perform atrocities again, by saying those running the institutions of today have the right to say who can use words like crazy. In trying to come down on society in this way, you are doing exactly what you do not want to happen: You are portraying mental illness as something the rest of us cannot comprehend so we shouldn't speak of it. Well, if we don't comprehend it, maybe we shouldn't pay taxes to support it's work. If we are not allowed to use it's terms, then maybe we should shun all that are associated with it. It appears by the postings here that we are starting that. You have ostracized yourselves from the majority and put mental illness right back where you've fought so hard to pull it from.
You can call us sick, and it is true. We are sick and tired of the idiocy of groups running up the mountain only to find there is no victory at the top and no one with common sense fighting them for the ground. You have put yourselves on a hill, a pedestal, and only you can use terms of such deep meaning. Well, us lowly folks think that's crazy. It's ill advised. It's stupid. And when you think you can get some cheap press that may lead to some donations from the "always angry about something" crowd by going after a beloved organization like Cedar Fair, well, you are sick!
Thank you Cedar Fair and Cedar Point for not caving. We, the people, appreciate it.
Jim Patton - The Haunted Enthusiasts www.hauntedenthusiasts.com
Asylum no longer used by any current facilities...
As far as I know, the mental health industry changed because of funding and bad history. They had a bad reputation for not caring properly in many of these "Asylums". The public image was pretty bad. So bad that haunted houses pretty much make up nearly all references to asylum on the internet other than refugees seeking "political" asylum. Care facilities are NO longer called asylums from what I read these days. laws have been changed to create modern treatment that keeps the patients rights intact, even if they need a guardian.
Found this definition:
1. An institution for the care of people, especially those with physical or mental impairments, who require organized supervision or assistance.
2. A place offering protection and safety; a shelter.
3. A place, such as a church, formerly constituting an inviolable refuge for criminals or debtors.
4. The protection afforded by a sanctuary.
5. Protection and immunity from extradition granted by a government to a political refugee from another country.
Maybe they should work towards changing the definition to "formerly an institution..." And the haunts could add a disclaimer that the scenes depicted are "former" atrocities that were put upon residents including experiments that were ok with the mediacl community and society.
Then they can go after all the "pirate" themed events as their next mission. We know that pirates are good people now since the Johnny Depp movies.