Theme park drops criticized Halloween names offensive to mental health advocates

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Mental health advocates were not amused by an Ohio amusement park’s Halloween-themed attractions, prompting the park to announce a name change almost a year after the original offense was made.

Dr. D. Mented’s Asylum for the Criminally Insane, a haunted house, and a music show dubbed The Edge of Madness: Still Crazy, at Cedar Point in Sandusky drew the ire of the National Alliance on Mental Illness when they debuted as part of the park’s HalloWeekends last September.

The group asked the park to shelve both the haunted house and the music show, saying they promoted false stereotypes and misinformation, the Sandusky Register reported last October. Cedar Point declined and the show, as they say, went on.

But in an apparent change of heart, Cedar Point now says it’ll rename the music show The Edge of Madness: Six Feet Under. Dr. D’s asylum gets a new handle, too: Eternity Infirmary.

“A few people were offended (by the names) and so we’re changing them,” Cedar Point spokesman Robin Innes said Thursday. “We certainly weren’t trying to disrespect.”

Call me crazy, but I think this controversy is a bit over the edge. Radio personality Dr. Demento has been doing his shtick since 1970 and I haven’t heard anyone complaining. I assume Paul Simon is Still Crazy After All These Years and no worse for it. And, in my mind, Psycho is still one of the best thrillers ever made.

NAMI likened portraying people with biological brain disorders in a Halloween attraction as akin to using cancer patients to scare people.

What do you think? Is an asylum-themed haunted house an offense to those suffering from mental illness?

By Jayne Clark
USA TODAY

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