We reported earlier in the month that Knott’s Scary Farm is opening “fear VR: 5150” a Virtual reality experience that puts the user in a medical facility with a girl named Katie. Guests were strapped to a wheel chair as they watched the roughly four minute video.
However, mental health advocates throughout the country messaged and E-mailed Knott’s Scary Farm with concerns over the portrayal of a possessed girl in a mental health facility. Knott’s Berry Farm and its parent company, Cedar Fair put out a statement that said, “Over the past week, we have heard from a number of people expressing concern that one of our temporary, Halloween attractions – Fear VR – is hurtful to those who suffer from mental illnesses.” They continued, “Contrary to some traditional and social media accounts, the attraction’s story and presentation were never intended to portray mental illness.”
Unfortunately, with Halloween coming up, the park doesn’t have the time to address the concerns and have decided to close the attraction.
“I feel good about what happened here,” said John Leyerle, president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Orange County. “Thankfully, this attraction will no longer further mental health stigma.”