We stand united against Hallow Inc., a Rockville, MD-based haunted house enterprise that has chosen to capitalize on the tragic past of a small island nation for profit and entertainment.
The backstory of Hallow Inc.'s haunted house, named "The Warehouse: Project 4.1," draws upon Project 4.1, an unfortunate chapter in the history of the Marshall Islands in which the US government studied the effects of nuclear testing on human subjects. To this day, the United States has not formally apologized for the invasive medical studies affiliated with Project 4.1, and the Marshallese people are prevented from filing claims related to radiation exposure. In the meantime, people continue to die from radiation-related cancers, and babies from horrific birth defects. Not to mention that residents of Bikini and Rongelap atolls are still barred from returning to their contaminated homelands.
This is taken directly from the website of Hallow Inc, the company behind the Haunted House: "The attraction is based on Project 4.1, which was the designation for a medical study conducted by the U.S. Government of residents on the Marshall Islands exposed to radioactive fallout from the March 1, 1954 Castle Bravo Accident. This attraction will be a realistic bloody, bio-hazardous warehouse filled with attacking zombies, decaying bodies, vicious military men and much more."
This premise is quite obviously grossly insensitive to an entire nation of people that continues to struggle with the effects of nuclear radiation. And yet this company has chosen to profit at the Marshall Islanders' expense.
There is a wide network of Marshallese people (and their allies) that is positively outraged over this company's idea of "entertainment." Our Facebook group, "United Against Hallow Inc's Haunted House," now has over 4,000 members from all over the world. Group members' posts on Hallow Inc'.s website sharing information about the nuclear testing and photos of the real-life victims of nuclear fallout were taken down within minutes. What are the Marshallese to do, sit back and watch as Hallow Inc. continues to make profits from their tragic past?
Our many, many emails to Hallow Inc. have gone unanswered (save for a form response that everyone received). And the company's "Disclaimer," which was produced within 24 hours of the start of our protest, merely parroted back educational material we had provided to them and contained no original thought. The Marshallese people and their allies are still awaiting (1) an apology and (2) a massive overhaul of this supposedly "fictional" backstory. This calls for a rebranding of the "Project 4.1" theme and all material related to the nuclear testing that occurred in the Marshall Islands.
The people of the Marshall Islands have suffered enough. Let's do what we can to change the premise of this ill-conceived Halloween attraction.