Petition Closed

Bring FearVR Back to Knott's Berry Farm

This petition had 4,860 supporters

A few days ago a petition,was presented with enough signatures to get an attraction at Knott's Berry Farm closed due to "insensitivity to mental illness" claims. A few advocates for this petition, LA Times Writer Steve Lopez has not even experienced this attraction.

Knott's Berry Farm has been doing Halloween Haunt for over 40 years, the largest halloween attraction that is done in an amusement park. The park has always been known to push the limits of horror and humor, and that is part of the tradition of theirs as well as with Halloween in general.

Many years ago there was a maze at the park called Uncle Ernie's Madhouse, which in itself is not politically correct to say. This maze existed from 1988-1992, with no complaint from anyone. Fast forward to 2003, when the maze Asylum first debuted, this was a maze about an asylum overrun with patients that have gone crazy and were murdering people, this maze continued till 2008. Due to the overwhelming popularity of this maze, as well as the idea since many movies and tv shows with the same concept have existed, the maze was brought back in 2009 as Lockdown-The Asylum and it stayed till 2012. If there was ever an issue with any of these mazes then the powers that be would have addressed it.

It is a haunted amusement park, the things that exist in it are meant to terrify and disturb you, this is what people sign on for when they go to the park. By purchasing that ticket a person is voluntarily giving up there right to be offended by blood, gore, and humor.

The show that Knott's puts on every night the Hanging classically hangs the most prevalent and unpopular person in social media and the news for the year. This show has been going on for decades and no one has shut it down. 

Fear VR is meant to be an attraction that takes the terror and horror of traditional mazes one step further. In the last few years with the popularity of attractions like escape rooms, and Blackout, haunted attractions have had to step up and become more edgy, and scarier. Knott's had the Trapped attraction for 2 years where guests signed a waiver allowing themselves to be touched, screamed at and made to do unpleasant things all in the nature of getting out of the maze. Fear VR is the next step in scaring people and is a cutting edge technology to bring a fully immersive experience to people. A lot of time and money was poured into this as well as dedication and imagination. People worked tirelessly to bring something this unique and new to the lives of those that love to feel their hearts' in their throats and scream in terror. It is completely unfair and unrealistic that a multi billion dollar company like Knott's Berry Farm & their parent company Cedar Fair should be forced to shut down an attraction based on the words of people who had not even experienced the attraction and because over all people these days are too easily offended.

As someone who has spent the last 8 years of my life studying psychology, currently working on a doctoral degree, I can safely say that making fun of mental illness was never something that was intended with the creation of this attraction. The attraction description states that the antagonist "Katie" is suffering from demonic possession, this has nothing to do with mental illness. If anyone should be mad, it would be the church for making light of the dangers of demonic possession, as likely as that is these days. Closing the attraction is not going to help advocate the increase of knowledge on the subject either. People are still going to be afraid of what they do not understand in regards to mental illness. The only thing that closing this attraction has done is lost the company money, caused many people to lose their jobs, and angered many who enjoyed it and those that had not yet had the chance to experience it. 

This attraction should be re-opened, and if nothing else a blanket disclaimer should be made that states this is not meant to make light or or make fun of mental illness. 

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Denice Paxton needs your help with “Matt Ouimet, Jon Storbeck: Bring FearVR Back to Knott's Berry Farm & Great America”. Join Denice and 4,859 supporters today.