There’s been a right old rumpus going on via twitter, Facebook, blogs, and latterly, the national news here in the UK, over a Halloween Fright Night offering by Thorpe Park. This is called ‘Asylum’ and features ‘scary mental patients’, actors who chase and threaten visitors through a maze set up to look like a hospital. The issue, that a proportion of people don’t see, is the stigmatising association of mental illness with horror, fear, danger, and threat. Not to mention the idea that being scared witless by ‘mental patients’ apparently qualifies as entertainment. The whole back-story is here, if you’re interested, and … Continue reading Mental Health and Fiction: striking the balance
If you’ve been following the Thorpe Park ‘Asylum’ debacle, this open letter from the Royal College of Psychiatrists may help illuminate the problem. Thorpe Park has, all along, been asked to change, not to close, its ill-advised attraction; so far with no response other than bland platitudes. One hopes this latest reasoned request will finally get through to them. http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mediacentre/pressreleases2013/openlettertothorpepark.aspx For catch-up, much of the debate can be found here where onward links further fill out the debate. The twitter thread, #AsylumNO, has attracted considerable support and inevitably its detractors. Some of these I have found to be reasonable people who, after many … Continue reading Thorpe Park: Royal College of Psychiatrists’ open letter
I should have taken a screenshot but I intended to post this clip so I copied it for pasting. The last sentence of the first paragraph along with a summarising link, has been removed [2 below which now points elsewhere]. See Halloween: What’s wrong with evoking the “scary mental patient” stereotype? for an update. Thorpe Park is a theme park in Chertsey, Surrey, England, UK. After demolition of the Thorpe Park Estate in the 1930s, the site became a gravel pit. Thorpe Park was built in 1979 on the gravel pit which was partially flooded, creating a water-based theme for the park. The park’s first large roller … Continue reading Thorpe Park: the tricky wiki bit they removed
Originally posted on Sectioned:
. Update: Scroll down for new additions (flagged with the handy yellow update picture), including links to numerous other people’s posts, a defence by a theme park enthusiast & an overview by a theme park industry website . On Thursday, it came to the attention of the lovely twitter people that one of Britain’s major theme parks, Thorpe Park, had a “scary mental patient” experience as part of its Halloween offering. It was called Asylum. Just as when, a few weeks ago, Asda, Tesco and Amazon marketed their “mental patient fancy dress costumes”, the mental health… Continue reading Halloween: What’s wrong with evoking the “scarey mental patient” stereotype?
Originally posted on purplepersuasion:
Dear Guest Services, I understand that you plan to plan to run a Fright NIght event entitled “The Asylum.” Your website promises “a chaotic environment of noise, light and like action” where guests must “watch [their] back as [they] encounter dead ends, hidden corners and eyes that watch you from the shadows.” I was deeply shocked when I read this, and expressed concern to your Twitter person, who replied, “The Asylum represents general chaos and scary fun and was never meant to cause offence.” Do you have any idea what asylums are really like? I grew… Continue reading Dear Thorpe Park: re shockingly insensitive “Asylum” event