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Haunted Hoochie’s “Swastika Saturday” sparks major controversy

Haunted Hoochie’s “Swastika Saturday” sparks major controversy

614now Staff

Owners of a local haunted house are apologizing for hosting a swastika-themed night on Saturday, the same day as the fatal shooting of 11 people of Jewish faith attending a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“We screwed up big time,” said Haunted Hoochie on 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.”

Haunted Hoochie also noted they won’t tolerate any form of hate on the grounds and promised to prohibit any costumes—worn by employees or visitors alike—“which perpetuate any kind of bigotry, intolerance, hate speech, anti-Semitism, or the like.”

Click here to read the comments on Haunted Hoochie’s Facebook

A Pittsburgh-based band called Only Flesh was booked to perform but pulled out, saying the band does “not condone or promote hate speech or racism in any way and cannot be associated with a place that promotes a “Swastika Saturday.”


Click here to read the comments on Only Flesh’s Facebook

The band told The Dispatch they were receiving messages from fans expressing concern about the night’s theme. This was the first time Only Flesh heard about the swastika theme.

“Whether it was done for shock factor, racism or just plain ignorance, we cannot promote that kind of message,” Revina Lower, founder of the band Only Flesh, said in response to a Facebook message from The Dispatch. “I personally live 10 minutes from the synagogue that was attacked, and I cannot even try to understand what the families and friends of the murdered are going through. We need to stand for them.”

In an earlier post, Haunted Hoochie claimed Swastika Saturday is a 28-year tradition and “has nothing to do with support for any hate.”

They defended their practices by saying Haunted Hoochie does not condone the simulations that can be seen inside the haunted house but, rather, they aim to address “the horrors we face here on earth.”

Haunted Hoochie has long been known for pushing the envelope with its horror exhibits. Read about the 2015 controversy surrounding the haunted house in USA Today.


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