Controversial 'Halloween Haunt' Ride Closes at Great America - NBC Bay Area
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Controversial 'Halloween Haunt' Ride Closes at Great America

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Halloween Haunt at California's Great America has canceled its planned tech-savvy attraction for fears that it would prompt a wave of backlash because its content could be offensive to some. Scott Budman reports. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016)

    Halloween Haunt at California's Great America has canceled its planned tech-savvy attraction for fears that it would prompt a wave of backlash because its content could be offensive to some.

    The virtual reality ride, called FearVR, straps riders into a chair before transporting them to a mental hospital, where they follow a possessed girl running rampant through the halls.

    It opened last week, but has now closed.

    Before the FearVR opening in Santa Clara, mental health advocates were already voicing displeasure and claiming that the ride was "hurtful, dehumanizing, discriminatory, prejudicial, insensitive, offensive and stigmatizing of mental illness," according to Voice of OC.

    Cedar Fair, the parent company that oversees the Santa Clara amusement park and Knott's Berry Farm in Southern California, which already unveiled the attraction, said the attraction never "intended to portray mental illness."

    "As it is impossible to address both concerns and misconceptions in the Halloween time frame, at this time, we have decided to close the attraction," Cedar Fair said in a statement.

    Great America fans say the park did the right thing.

    "I mean, that's a pretty good reason to shut down a ride," one visitor said. "They're thinking of other people, not just making money."

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