NILES, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A haunted house manager in southwest Michigan says a visitor’s complaint that a new attraction included sexually harassing dialogue and behavior has been addressed, and it shouldn’t happen again.
Visitor Archer Pina posted a review on Niles Scream Park’s Facebook page after he visited the park’s new attraction, Hooded, on Sept. 23.
Pina alleges the actors made inappropriate comments, poked visitors with “simulated male parts,” and gave them a general feeling of being “sexually harassed.” He told The South Bend Tribune Monday that the experience didn’t make him “feel scared so much as gross,” and that many of the people he went with felt similar.
In his review, Pina wrote:
“This one star is for HOODED. I am all about interactive horror and intense settings and scary things. Hooded should not be branded as an intense horror experience. It’s all branded as some sort of execution horror experience. I honestly don’t know where half of the sexually charged abuse came from out of that. Half of the experience is having simulated male parts rubbed against you and having them tell you all the places they would like to put them. I think the worst part about the whole thing is they allow children to go through. CHILDREN. I’m not a tall person with a hood over my head for all they know I could be 13-15 and they just spout of all this rapey nonsense. I love everything about Niles except this one attraction. IF you want to give an honest title to this experience call it “HOODED and sexually harassed.”
Park manager Pete Karlowicz says he spoke to Hooded’s actors and manager, and made clear that commentary to visitors shouldn’t be sexual. In a response to Pina’s review, Karlowicz noted that the attraction is meant for adults, adding that they would be looking into what happened.
“Hi Archer! – Thank you for reaching out to us regarding your recent experience in Hooded. This is an adult only attraction. Children are not allowed and a waiver must be signed. Paragraph four of the waiver specifically states that the person signing it is at least 18 years of age. A parent of a child who is at least 16 years of age can sign for them. The attraction was designed to be sensory, not sexual. By requiring the hood and taking away your ability to see, your other senses are more sensitive. The plan was, is and will continue to be a sensory overloaded experience. The attraction has been open for four nights and there were no complaints the first three nights. We are not sure what happened on the fourth night, but we are investigating that situation and will handle it appropriately. Thank you again for reaching out to us. Rest assured that your concerns will be addressed!
– Pete Karlowicz, Park Manager”
Karlowicz estimates roughly 500 people have visited Hooded.
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