Halloween is one of America’s favorite holidays. It is the one time of the year where people do not have to be themselves and get unlimited amounts of candy. Other than these two reasons, there is another reason why this particular holiday is loved by many.
Knott’s Scary Farm: where all the fun happens during Halloween. But, while many people find being scared thrilling, for some it is the opposite. The Fear Virtual Reality Attraction has been one especially controversial attraction at the amusement park for its insensitivity towards those who deal with mental illness.
The Fear Virtual Reality attraction, also know as Fear VR:5150, was based on the story of a possessed patient “Katie”, who goes missing in an asylum. For the ride, the park goers would be seated in wheelchairs before getting their VR goggles, and if it was too intense, a “panic button” would also be available.
The many complaints against the attraction eventually led to its downfall. Some of the complaints were as simple as the attraction being too scary, but there were complaints about some people’s health. There have reportedly been many complaints the Fear VR attraction was insensitive towards individuals or family members who dealt with mental illness. Knott’s Berry Farm, who never had the intention to portray the mental illnesses coming to their theme park, made the decision to close down one the attraction in late September.
How do people feel about this? More than 2,300 people have signed a counter-petition to reopen the attraction. The organizer of Fear VR:5150 was part of this petition, and stated it was unfair and unrealistic this was forced to shut down because the complaints of people who had never experienced the attraction. She also mentioned that closing the attraction would not be of any help to those with mental illnesses since they will still be scared of what they do not understand.
Although there will not be the Fear VR attraction at Knott’s Scary Farm this year, those who were looking forward to this attraction have nothing to fear. There are plenty of other amusement parks that offer a good scare. Six Flags offers a Fright Fest, which has scare zones, where “bloodthirsty creatures” come about and search for their victims, and the largest maze in the Park’s history. Although the Fear VR attraction will be missed, it is a good opportunity for thrill seekers to try new amusement parks and see if which one can give the greatest scare.