Rob Zombie added a new room to his Great American Nightmare attraction in Illinois and it features a serial killer that still haunts the memories of local residents in the Chicago suburb.
Zombie's haunted house in Villa Park, Illinois features three rooms dedicated to serial killers Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy. The latter has former prosecutors on the Gacy case calling foul against the "Halloween" director.
"I find it to be in terrible taste," attorney Terry Sullivan told The Daily Herald.
Gacy raped and murdered 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978 at his home in Norwood Park Township. Gacy was known as the "Killer Clown," an allusion to his side gig as "Pogo the Clown," his entertainment act for fundraising events, parades and children's parties.
He was convicted and sentenced to death on March 13, 1980, and executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994. He's the third largest mass-murderer known in U.S. history behind Gary Ridgway and Ted Bundy.
"The kids killed were from the Northwest suburbs and Northwest side of Chicago, not too far at all from (the haunted house). It's a little too close to home and might open some old wounds. Not enough time has passed," Robert Egan, another former prosecutor on the case, told The Daily Herald. The home of Gacy's last identified victim is located 10 miles from the haunted house.
"I don't argue with Rob Zombie's right to do what he's doing. But it's a shame that what he's doing is causing the victims' families pain."
Zombie has described the Gacy room as "funny," according to the Herald. An impersonator dressed as Gacy's clown character sits on a couch inside the room and blows up balloon. Two "ghoulish dolls" dressed as Boy Scouts are seated next to him, according to the Herald.
"It's in bad taste, but guys like Rob Zombie consider it a compliment, so what are you gonna do? As long as we have the First Amendment, we're going to have people doing stuff like this," Egan said.
The Great American Nightmare will remain open until Saturday, Nov. 1. Zombie has the same attraction in Scottsdale, Arizona.