CPS Cancels Haunted House That Would Have Depicted Pulse Nightclub Shooting
By Rachel Cromidas in News on Oct 31, 2016 3:20PM
A Chicago Public School has thankfully canceled plans to host a "Christian"-themed haunted house that took gruesome inspiration from the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.
Windy City Times reported on the offensive-sounding haunted house plan on Oct. 28, after learning that the Roseland elementary school was advertising plans for a haunted house named "The Room: A Journey to Hell," that would, among other ill-advised subjects, depict the horrific Orlando shooting that left 49 people dead last June.
Many victims in the Pulse Nightclub shooting were LGBTQ people of color, and the event inspired queer communities around the country to gather in mourning and solidarity. It was a terrifying hate crime that also renewed calls for stricter gun control, and to turn the subject into entertainment fodder for a haunted house is crass and insensitive—perhaps even more so because the event would have taken place inside an elementary school in a Chicago neighborhood that has experienced many instances of gun violence.
Public Schools reps told the LGBTQ-focused paper that they would cancel the Fernwood Elementary School event after they realized the event's "true content."
"The event organizers mischaracterized the true content of the event, and we did not approve any association with the activities the organizers have now advertised," CPS spokesman Michael Passman told the Windy City Times.
The haunted house was created by Tyrone Tappler Productions, a local company that started looking for dancers and performers to volunteer inside the haunted house on Aug. 31. The Facebook advertisement read: "Club Pulse, Dancers, Victims CAGED PEOPLE/SCREAMERS, Extras needed trying to escape a cage!" Chicagoist was not able to immediately reach Tappler Monday morning.
Tappler tweeted on Oct. 29 that the haunted house event was cancelled:
GM THE ROOM IS OFFICIALLY BANNED! As of Friday, 7:17pm. There will be no show TODAY OR Tomorrow! . Sorry for the inconvenience.— Playwright Tyrone (@TyroneTappler) October 29, 2016