The operators of a haunted house in Pataskala, Ohio, have apologized for hosting a "Swastika Saturday" event over the weekend.
Haunted Hoochie hosted a Swastika-themed event on Saturday. The event received major backlash online after 11 people were killed in a shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Federal prosecutors have filed hate crimes against suspect Robert Bowers, who made anti-Semitic statements during the shooting.
Haunted Hoochie posted an apology on its Facebook:
"On behalf of the entire Haunted Hoochie staff, we first and foremost extend our sincerest condolences to the families affected by the tragedy in Pittsburgh, and the Jewish communities of the area.
Second, we will in no way tolerate any form of hatred on our grounds, from our staff, or from our guests. This means that certain costumes or themes may be deemed inappropriate and you will be denied admission or asked to leave the grounds.
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We will not host any musical acts which perpetuate any kind of bigotry, intolerance, hate speech, anti-Semitism, or the like, now, or ever again.
The Haunted Hoochie is a place to escape the true evil in the world through the magic of Halloween theater- NOT perpetuate real evil.
We welcome anyone to our show with open arms- provided you do not bring evil or hatred."
People blasted the haunted house on social media.
I’ve lived in Pataskala for 18 years and never heard of this “Swastika Saturday” at Haunted Hoochie. Such a disgrace, but at the same time I’m not shocked at all,” one Twitter user said.
According to the Haunted House Association's website, The Haunted Hoochie has been in business for over 20 years. But this isn't the first time the haunted house has been in the news for its choices. In 2015, the business experienced backlash due to "an upside-down, reversed American flag displayed above the attraction," according to a USA Today article.
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