A look in review at the serious problems in one staff-member’s experience at a renowned Atlanta Halloween locale.by Christen Thompson Online Editor
“Have you been here before?”
The man next to me tells me he hasn’t but that the entertainment is supposed to be akin to the Saw/Hostel franchises: blood, gore and victims.
Upon going to “Chambers of Horror” at the Masquerade, a haunted house that Programming Board at Agnes Scott College sold tickets to this Halloween weekend, I assumed I knew what I was in for.
When going to a “haunted house,” or a “house of horrors,” one may expect and want to be scared and a bit humiliated. These are the things that make Halloween. It is in part a nostalgic holiday where one can be whatever they want, and in another an opportunity where one may be scared to wit’s end and receive no grief for it.
The haunted house in question, however, does not fall in either category.
I’ve seen Saw. I’ve seen Hostel. I consider myself aware of horror and thriller conventions and stereotypes. It is no secret to me that women are victimized for mass entertainment.
This horror house should not be qualified as mass entertainment, let alone something that anyone, regardless of gender, politics or awareness should condone. The events that happen in the so called “haunted house” are nothing less than despicable and disgusting, let alone morally reprehensible.
Tell me: When did rape become entertainment?
Tell me: When did calling a woman the c-word — whether or not she signed a waiver — become entertaining?
I signed a waiver at this event so I could be allowed in. But the fact that I signed this waiver should not indicate that I, a paying customer, can be personally degraded.
The worst part of all of this is that I wasn’t surprised. I almost expected to see women raped, tortured and imprisoned; I almost expected to be called the c-word. That is the most upsetting thing I have ever admitted. There is no reason that I should expect that from something that is supposed to scare me. There is nothing scary about being a woman.
But I implore you to question why seeing women raped, caged, mangled, tortured; why calling bystanders c-words: why is that a form of entertainment? The fact that they were all done by actors has no bearing on the issue. Why is this something there is a demand for?
This attraction is apparently in the top 15 Must See Haunts in the nation according to Haunt Attraction Magazine. While I believe at one point a man is in fact victimized during the tour, the vast majority are women. Socially, women often represent the extent to which a society is “good:” harm the woman, harm the society.
But I’m not buying it. You cannot tell me that walking me through room after room of simulated rape, imprisonment and mutilation is actually in accordance with a greater social commentary. It is to this company — at is its right to do so — a product. It is entertainment that they are selling. The things in this tour are “haunting,” and they are banking.
Tell me, Haunt Attraction Magazine, why specifically is that haunting? No, really. I want to know. As I woman and human being opposed to violence but perfectly in favor of a good scare, I want to know: why?