Why Are We Still Making A Mockery Of Mental Illness?

With the emergence of fall comes the promise of Halloween and all things pumpkin spice, festive, and spooky. It’s no surprise that the people behind the scenes of Knott’s Berry Farm carefully curated a new attraction to cater to this season; an attraction to entertain a crowd of consumers who enjoy being spooked. An attraction that, in its essence, uses the idea of mental illness to create fright, interest, amusement, and — let’s be honest — monetary profits.

Originally named FearVR: 5150 (a reference to the code for a psychiatric commitment), the makers no doubt poured a great deal of money into the attraction in anticipation of the profit that its success and popularity would bring. In theory it makes total sense, in fact I would even go as far to say that it was a smart business decision. People love fall. They go nuts over pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin flavored cereals, pumpkin butter, and pumpkin beer. They love the magic of Halloween. They love the decorations, the sweets, and all the frightening and haunting parts that go along with it. They love the exhilaration and the thrill. This probably explains why the ride was completely sold out last week.


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