It's Halloween, and many people are looking for scares at haunted houses. But one haunted house is making the news for something more frightening than any ghosts or monsters: bigotry. A Christian haunted house planned to depict the Orlando shooting, the deadliest mass shooting in American history, as well as a botched abortion and the Charleston church shooting. Not only that—the haunted house was going to be hosted by an elementary school in Chicago.
According to the Windy City Times (an LBGTQ weekly in Chicago), a Christian haunted house called "The Room: A Journey to Hell" was scheduled to take place on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 at Fernwood Elementary School. Fortunately, school officials canceled the event on Oct. 28. A Chicago Public Schools spokesperson explained, "The event organizers mischaracterized the true content of the event, and we did not approve any association with the activities the organizers have now advertised." Tyrone Tappler, the event organizer and licensed minister, confirmed the cancelation too:
Billed as a "Christian interactive experience" and "A trip through hell," Tyrone Tappler Productions had advertised that "The Room" offers "in your face scenes of dark reality" that will be "action-packed, real, and jaw dropping." Guests walk into ten rooms and find people who will make choices between "life or death; sin or salvation; heaven or hell."
In August, the company asked for volunteers on Facebook to depict the victims of the Orlando shooting: "Club Pulse, Dancers, Victims … CAGED PEOPLE/SCREAMERS, Extras needed trying to escape a cage! … SOUNDS INTERESTING? COME OUT THIS SATURDAY!"
Not only that, the haunted house reportedly also planned to include scenes from a botched abortion, as well as the Charleston church shooting in 2015.
One man told the Windy City Times that he was disturbed by the way promoters framed the events "in terms of 'moral choices.'" He added, "Is it immoral to just want to go out and be with your friends and dance? And what really bothered me was that this was in a public school supported by our tax dollars."
Scary stuff, y'all, but at least they didn't go through with it.