John Wayne Gacy is a name synonymous with horror, which is why Rob Zombie included him in his Villa Park, Chicago haunted house. But that part of the attraction will likely draw the ire of some, and Zombie is prepared for it.
The Great American Nightmare debuted in California, and this year will run in Villa Park and Arizona with attractions based on his films and real serial killers who haunt and terrify guests. The Gacy room features a man in a clown suit who blows up balloons as two dolls dressed as Boy Scouts look on from the couch.
“The Gacy room is funny. Last year what it was was these little dead kids lying around and John Wayne Gacy is sitting in the chair folding balloon animals for you. ... There probably will be (backlash). There was last year in California. They didn’t like the Manson one because that was a California issue. ... This is the home of all serial killers — the Midwest. So they’ll hate everything, I guess," Zombie said.
Residents from the area aren't happy about the Gacy room, including Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, founder of Illinoisvictim.org. As an advocate for the victims of violent crimes, she says she was shocked by the attraction.
"This is a really thoughtless, exploitive thing to do. They're clearly only interested in money. There were real families whose children were brutally murdered who are still alive and living in the Chicago area right now. And I cannot even imagine how troubling this must be to see this killer used as entertainment," Bishop-Jenkins told MyFoxChicago.com.
The Villa Park location will be open through November 1.