Diatribe: Naked Haunted House Challenge.
When I was a kid, the closest thing to a “haunted house” that I ever got to see was a trailer at a carnival that was sealed so tightly that no light could enter during the day. The walls were painted black and they were decorated with fluorescent paints so that they would glow under black lights. Scary music would play and surprises would scare us as we walked a short path through the “attraction”. I was never frightened by these experiences. In fact, I was more creeped out by the things that I saw at a one of the many Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museums that we stumbled upon during family vacations.
In recent years, I’ve found myself with a group of friends waiting in line to tour Monster Mountain. The popularity of haunted houses and other “attractions” this time of year has grown immensely since my younger days. It’s actually become a bit of an industry. While I certainly enjoy a good horror movie, the concept of paying to be frightened remains completely beyond my understanding. But I love my friends and we always have a good time. So Monster Mountain is a small price to pay for the wonderful dinner, conversation and margaritas that always precede our adventures.
I might not always enjoy Monster Mountain but at least I get to keep my clothes on.
Shocktoberfest, billed as “Pennsylvania’s premier haunted scream park”, is celebrating its twenty-second scary season and someone thought it would be a good idea to offer a “Naked and Scared” adventure. The Sinking Spring, PA park’s owner, Patrick Konopelski, found inspiration for a nude haunted house tour while watching an episode of the Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid, in which two strangers have to survive in the wilderness naked for twenty-one days. The naked haunted house tour was supposed to scare people by putting them in an extremely vulnerable position where they would not feel protected by anything.
The plan was to offer the special nude event to consenting adults, at specific times when regular customers were not present in the park. The customers, not the ghouls, were to be the only naked participants. But officials in the small township have put a stop to the scary nude shenanigans.
“Our local municipality asked us to reevaluate our program. Even though legally we have the right to do it, all the national and international exposure made them uncomfortable and they asked us to reconsider. No one is more disappointed than us. Our attorneys realize that it is a legal right of ours to have this, but to prove it in a court of law over months and years — it becomes a moot point pretty fast.” – Patrick Konopelski, owner, Shocktoberfest
Apparently, the property on which the scary theme park sits is part of two municipalities and there’s some confusion about whether or not the nude opportunity might ultimately take place at some time in the future. But this year, Shocktoberfest will offer what they’re calling the “prude option” instead of a nude option that will allow customers the option of going on the tour in their underwear.
“Shocktoberfest is still happening with all the attractions, events and all of that, but we’re just offering the prude option this year for the ‘Naked and Scared’ event. Our township is interested in working with us, so we’ll see how it shapes up. People had a problem with not what the tour was, but with what they thought it was. It never had anything to do with sex or debauchery. We were trying to create a fun and unique event.” – Patrick Konopelski, owner, Shocktoberfest
The fact that a haunted park as large as the one in Pennsylvania has been around for twenty-two years is proof enough that Halloween fun is an industry that continues to grow. Folks just love to be frightened! And, as difficult as it is for me to admit it, I really do enjoy the excitement of waiting in line at Monster Mountain on a cool autumn evening with a crowd of people anxiously anticipating the possibilities of unknown excitement that wait for them in the dark woods.
… after several margaritas.
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