A Chicago haunted house is being criticized for including depictions of the June massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, where 49 LGBT people and allies were brutally murdered.
“The Room: A Journey to Hell” is being billed as a “Christian interactive experience,” with 12 rooms of “action-packed, real and jaw-dropping” terror.
Hell houses are popular with evangelical Christians during Halloween—spooky attractions filled with the “horrors” of modern life—teen sex, drinking, homosexuality—and their infernal consequences.
Tyrone Tappler Productions, which organized “The Room, put out a call on Facebook earlier this year for volunteers willing to recreate the Pulse shooting.
“Club Pulse, Dancers, Victims … CAGED PEOPLE/SCREAMERS, Extras needed trying to escape a cage! … SOUNDS INTERESTING? COME OUT THIS SATURDAY!!!”
Other scenarios described in promotional material include a botched abortion and the 2015 shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
“The Room” was originally slated to run October 29 and 30 at Fernwood Elementary School on the Far South Side, but a rep for the Chicago Public School System now says it’s pulled the plug.
“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,” spokesman Michael Passman told Windy City Times.
One reader told WCT that after finding a flyer for the event that referenced Pulse, “my head just about blew up. How could they depict that?”
They added, “what really bothered me was that this was in a public school supported by our tax dollars.”
UPDATE: Last night, Tyrone Tappler posted on Facebook that the event had been “banned”, promising refunds to ticket holders.