You would think that in the #MeToo era people would have a heightened sense of decorum, at the least. You would also think that simulating rape on unsuspecting individuals is so far past any sense of decorum that I wouldn’t be writing an article about someone doing just that. But even the heightened fury of sexual-McCarthyism can’t stop stupid. And in a stunning example of extreme stupidity, a haunted house in Akron, Ohio, decided that it would be a good idea in 2018 to include a mock rape scene amongst the other horrors.
To be clear, this isn’t a simulated rape scene between two of the haunted house cast members. Instead, one of the cast members at Akron Fright Fest grabs a paying customer and pretends to rape him or her. Predictably, and rightfully so, many of the customers aren’t happy about it. ABC News 5 Cleveland spoke to one couple who are “accusing a local haunted house of subjecting patrons to a mock rape scene without asking their permission or having them sign a waiver.”
“There was a man in a mask standing over my boyfriend, my boyfriend was on the edge and he was being pushed down,” said Sarah Lelonek.
“She comes over and yells, stop, what are you doing? That’s my boyfriend,” said Lelonek’s boyfriend Ryan Carr. “Not anymore, he’s mine now I’m going to rape him and then he started thrusting against me.”
According to News 5 Cleveland, “The couple says this all went down at the Akron Fright Fest, which is housed on the Kim Tam Park property. They say this is not the special haunted house where you had to sign a waiver to enter, although they do offer a haunted house like that on the property.”
Lelonek and Carr aren’t the only customers complaining. Several upset patrons of the event took to Akron Fright Fest’s Facebook page to voice their displeasure at having been forced to participate in simulated rape scenes.
Managing partner Jeremy Caudill released a statement saying that the accused employees have been suspended while an investigation is conducted and that steps have been taken to ensure that mock rape scenes will not be included in any of the six haunted houses operated by the Akron Fright Fest. He added, “We want to donate portions of our proceeds from the following two weekends to the Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties. I will be getting in touch with leaders there to organize that donation.”
Haunted houses push the boundaries of good taste and common sense, but simulating rape on unsuspecting people is taking it too far.