Municipal officials object to 'Naked and Scared' challenge at Shocktoberfest
The show must go on, and so must customers' underwear.
A Berks County man said on Thursday that he dropped his plans to let paying guests go naked through a new attraction at his annual Shocktoberfest Halloween because municipal officials objected.
The Naked and Scared Challenge gave customers the choice of going through the attraction “nude or prude” — naked or wearing underwear.
“Borough officials took the position that this is adult entertainment,” said Pat Konopelski, who runs Shocktoberfest on his farm. “What we are doing clearly is not adult entertainment. But, not wanting to pick fights with our neighbors or township officials, I conceded and said: ‘Does anybody have a problem with the prude option?' They said ‘No, that's fine.' ”
Konopelski's “scream park” lies in Spring Township and Sinking Spring Borough. Sinking Spring Mayor Francis Butkus said lawyers were concerned that adding nudity to the popular “scream house” — now in its 30th year — would violate zoning laws.
“I'm not a lawyer. I'm just a small-town mayor, but according to our zoning area, it's not zoned for that type of entertainment,” Butkus said.
Scott Simmons, creative director of ScareHouse — a popular and extreme haunted attraction in Etna — said the decision stifles artistic freedom.
“Sometimes when you do something weird and edgy, and people don't know what it is, they're against it,” Simmons said. “That's too bad. To me, haunted houses are a form of artistic expression — and the most interesting expressions come when you burst through artistic boundaries and don't listen to what people say should be.”
Konopelski, president of the Haunted Attraction Association, places thrill-seekers at Shocktoberfest in reality-based scenarios, such as the Prison of the Dead Escape, in which zombies chase participants through rooms.
He said he hopes to iron out the legal issues and offer the nude option next year. Konopelski will offer full refunds to anyone who bought advance tickets to the Naked and Scared Challenge and to those wanting only to go through naked.
“We're disappointed,” he said. “We were very excited to offer this innovative new concept that's never been done anywhere in the world. We were the first to come up with idea, and we wanted to be the first to execute it.”
Chris Togneri is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5632.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Lowly job likely awaits former Pittsburgh police chief after prison
- Feds want to seize cash, property from suspects in drug bust
- Pedestrian struck, killed by train in Coraopolis
- 9 juveniles charged in connection with opening day disturbance at Kennywood
- Newsmaker: Paul Dubner
- DOJ program goal: Increased trust between law enforcement, community
- Millions to travel through Western Pa. during Memorial Day weekend
- 2 suspects sought in fatal Homestead shooting
- Mixed-income apartments in flourishing East Liberty applauded
- Analyst says Pa. senate race leans toward Toomey — because Democrats ‘loathe’ Sestak
- Police seize heroin, cash in North Versailles