As purveyor of all things spooky and uncomfortable, of course Rob Zombie has opened a haunted house in the Illinois town of Villa Park. (The event operated in Los Angeles last year, and there’s also an iteration this year in Arizona.) The attraction, called the Great American Nightmare Haunted House, actually contains three separate houses, two of which are based around his films House Of 1000 Corpses and The Lords Of Salem. There are several rooms in the houses that are dedicated to real-life serial killers, including rooms focusing on Charles Manson and Jeffrey Dahmer. One room in particular has raised the ire of local residents: a room dedicated to serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who killed 33 men in the 1970s and buried most of them in his home’s crawlspace in Chicago. Because of Villa Park’s close proximity to the city, he’s been accused of bad taste (but when hasn’t he been in bad taste, really?). According to the Daily Herald, the room contains “an actor dressed as Gacy sits in his famous clown costume, blowing up balloons, while two ghoulish dolls dressed as Boy Scouts sit on the couch.”
Robert Egan, one of the prosecutors in Gacy’s case, had this to say to the Herald: “The kids killed were from the Northwest suburbs and Northwest side of Chicago, not too far at all from (the haunted house). It’s a little too close to home and might open some old wounds. Not enough time has passed. I don’t argue with Rob Zombie’s right to do what he’s doing. But it’s a shame that what he’s doing is causing the victims’ families pain.”
Zombie has defended the Gacy room and described it as “funny” in interviews and Steve Kopelman, the producer of the attraction, said that the rooms based around real-life serial killers were meant to shock the attendees.
[Photo via Facebook.]