Total institutions are scary, Part II
Heading into Bat Country (e.g. dangerous territory)

Total institutions are scary, Part II

9 months ago 0

(That photo is my and my cat Turtle Bird heading into Bat Country…don’t worry it was taken safely) Knotts Scary Farm and Great America decided to close their attraction FearVR, which features a supernatural character inside a mental institution, after complaints that it was insensitive. I haven’t experienced FearVR, but neither had those calling it offensive. It is this point– the immediate condemnation without experience, that I hold issue with. As a sociologist  who works in the industry and studies fear, I’m all too aware of the critical social issues regarding exploitation of marginalized groups in media and entertainment. The “crazy mental patient,” “insane prisoner,” and “helpless female victim” are often mainstay characters in many attractions and unfortunately some do depict characters in scenes that reinforce negative stereotypes. I do not personally support these depictions; I don’t see the value and do not think they leave people feeling better (this

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It’s that time of year again!

9 months ago 0

Hey folks! I’ve taken my writing over to Daily Dead in a column called Science of Scares! My latest shines a light on Our Fear of the Dark  Be sure to follow me there and check out all of the awesome content. Read more about Daily Dead below (from the site): Daily Dead was created by Jonathan James in 2010 as a place to share his love of horror and sci-fi movies. Since then, we have grown into an online magazine written by multiple contributors and read by entertainment fans from all over the world. We love zombies, classic horror, conventions, and get excited about upcoming releases. While we report on popular movies and TV shows, we also cover classic releases, events, video games, collectibles, food, and anything else that piques our interest. We want you to think of Daily Dead as one big never-ending horror and sci-fi convention. Sure, you’re here

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Trump Haunted House

1 year ago 0

 5 ways  Donald Trump is like a haunted house (and 1 critical way he’s not)   1. He looks like a monster (might as well start with the obvious).     2. He makes you scream, then laugh. Like the startling actor  threatening to disembowel you, he says some scary things that make you scream, but then you quickly realize it’s all fake and can’t help but laugh.      3. He wears many masks. Like a backyard haunted house with only one actor, you keep seeing him pop up with a different mask.  You know it’s the same guy, but he’ll never admit it.    “No I never supported abortion, Hilary Clinton, Obama, or universal health care, that was someone else.”    4. He is offensive. Like many old school haunted houses (BUT NOT ALL! e.g. ScareHouse), he’s full of misogyny and truly offensive content that has been unacceptable for decades.      5.

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GMA

Good Morning, America! And oh so much more!

1 year ago 0

Full Book Launch Mode: GO! (And if you haven’t yet, go buy my book on audio, digital or good old fashion hard copy) This has quite literally been the busiest past two weeks of my life, and will likely be the busiest month come Oct. 31st. I’ve been honored to have interviews with Beth Harpaz from the AP, Bess Lovejoy from Mental Floss, and Lynn Cullen from Pittsburgh City Paper. Then, on wednesday Good Morning America aired a segment on my book! When I saw the cover of my book, with my name underneath appear in Times Square, well let’s just say my emotional regulation skills went out the window and all I wanted to do was jump up and down, and, yes Scream (and I did). I didn’t have much time to linger in the moment though, and went straight from New York to L.A., where I’ve been hanging out in

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My diabolical cat Turtle Bird

Wait for it..wait for it..

1 year ago 0

This morning my friend Scott Simmons sent me this cat video (as most of my friends do, I’ve got great friends) and as I watched it I felt my heart rate increase and a rising tension in my chest and body. From a cat video. And then it hit me–we (well the internet and A LOT of people) love cat videos because they are sort of like tiny scary movies, but with cute cuddly (evil) characters. Think about it, they usually start with a slow, calm and seemingly calculated build up in the mind of an evil (or heroic) cat. Think the slow stalk, the methodical back and forth of a fluffy tail, the all knowing gaze as they size up their target. They are unpredictable, deceitful, erratic, a tiny ball of fur full of so much potential energy just waiting to be unleashed at any given moment. The anticipation builds and

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