Meddling Officials Put Kibosh on Crazy Naked Haunted House Plan

No stripping at Shocktoberfest!


These people would see you naked, so maybe the year delay is a good time to do some abdominal crunches, maybe?
Source: Shocktoberfest

What kind of country do we live in where a man can't strip down to his birthday suit and run naked through a warehouse full of people dressed up like zombies, mad scientists, and murderous psychos pretending to try to kill him?

Sadly, even though a haunted house operator in Pennsylvania invited willing customers to do exactly that, it apparently is not to be, at least not this year. Shocktoberfest, a "haunted scream park" in Sinking Spring, Pa., invited participants to actually make their way through one of their attractions totally starkers. From their site:

The Naked and Scared Challenge allows participants to go through the Unknown Haunted House Nude or Prude (either totally nude or with underwear). It takes place at the end of the night after all customers have gone through the attraction. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and must sign a waiver. Participants undress in a semi-private preshow building, experience the Unknown Haunted House, and then exist into a semi-private fenced courtyard where they will get dressed. Participants are never in view of minors or non-participating customers.

The idea seems deeply silly rather than scary (but then that tends to be my attitude toward haunted houses anyways). In any event, the stunt garnered media coverage from across the country.

Then, of course, it drew the attention of meddling government officials. Consenting adults getting naked and getting screamed at? Sounds like something that should need a special permit or permission or whatever. Anything that is not permitted is forbidden! Courtesy of Trib Live in Pittsburgh:

"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.

The haunted house folks hope to hammer out the problem and attempt to offer the "experience" next year. Until then, visitors may not shock out with their cocks out.

(Hat tip to Aaron Aupperlee, a former coworker of mine who is now at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)


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  1. Warty does something very similar with his house, only it’s year-round, he doesn’t charge for it, and he doesn’t let you go at the end.

    1. But do you still have to sign a waiver?

      1. Warty applies the same standard as the federal government: He assumes your full consent to anything you can’t stop him from doing.

  2. What kind of country do we live in where a man can’t strip down to his birthday suit and run naked through a warehouse full of people dressed up like zombies, mad scientists, and murderous psychos pretending to try to kill him?

    NOT MY COUNTRY, SIR. This is our Wounded Knee, and I am the Native with a solitary tear coursing down my cheek.

    1. Isn’t Iron Eyes Cody Sicilian?

      1. Shh, I’m having a moment here.

  3. Peepees are bad, children. Mmmmkay?

    1. And far worse than breasts and vaginas!

  4. Well, you can guess who would choose the nude option and who would choose the prude option.

    “Look, baby, if I lift up my stomach you’ll be able to get a glimpse of my…”

    1. So they were just protecting us from fat men and women?

      1. “You know the problem with nudist colonies? No quality control.” –

    2. The concern trolls are afraid of the explosion of PTSD cases when they imagine their neighbors naked. If you’ve ever spent any time in rural western PA, you’ll realize the validity of their concern.

      1. Sinking Spring is next to Reading, so that’s eastern PA. Plus, it’s not very rural.

        1. That is quite possibly even worse.

          1. It is. I am an expert on Pennsylvania ugliness.

    3. Fat people enjoy showing off their bodies in public?

      1. Fat and old, yes. Have you been to a nude beach?

        1. Someone once referred to it as the Ironclad Law of the Undressed: those who should least be naked are most likely to be naked.

          1. Yeah, I’m obese and I like skinny dipping. When you get fat enough, wet swimsuits are uncomfortable.

            1. Skinny people like skinny dipping too!

            2. There’s nowhere near me good for skinny dipping. The only nude beach got shut down hard by the cops two years before I moved to the area. Last time I was on Maui I spent as much time as possible at Little Beach.

              1. Have you ever seen http://www.swimmingholes.org/ ? They include a note on swimsuit policy. I found it useful while living in Virginia.

                1. I haven’t, it doesn’t look like there’s much in my area (I’m coastal and it doesn’t seem to list beaches), but this could be handy for some of my driving to Reno and taking in a hot spring on the way adventures.

                  1. OT: jesse, thanks for the Comodo recommendation. It’s working out really well.

          2. And it’s not just nekkid. Those I’ve seen seriously under-dressed are the same ones I’d least like to see in really revealing outfits. Why is it, the less you have to brag about, the more likely you are to show it off?

            1. Because the only ones who get away with bragging about themselves are the ones who don’t prove it.

              1. Oh, they prove it, alright. Just in the negative.

  5. This makes me want to open an “adult club” in which naked customers watch fully clothed dancers.

    Polka, polka, that’s for me

    living life so merrileeeeeeeee

    1. This makes me want to open an “adult club” in which naked customers watch fully clothed dancers.

      There is probably a market for that.

      1. Isn’t that the point behind CFNM (clothed female, nude male)? It’s basically a mild form of D/s relationship where the women are in control because they’re clothed and the men are out of place and uncomfortable due to their nudity.

        1. Yep, that was pretty much my thought.

  6. What exactly would happen if someone decided to go full nude anyway? Who’s gonna call the police? Who’s gonna press charges?

    1. Undercover cops.

    2. Srsly? The same sort of people who call the cops on kids playing with toy guns. The same sort of people who show up in all those Reason 24×7 links…

  7. America – just not fun anymore. 🙁

    1. When was the last time America was fun? The 70s?

      1. No, we were much poorer and the weed was of remarkably poor quality. There was only network TV and music sucked.

        1. Mega-dittoes! Kill nostalgia with fire! I end up posting the same diatribe whenever I see some dweeb posting about how wonderful the seventies were on U-Tube.

          Sure, there was some great music made in the seventies. There was also a metric ton of crap. Forty years later, we get to hear the good stuff, while the crap has been forgotten. Am I the only one who understands this?

      2. I’m going with June 7, 1927. While prohibition was still in full swing, it must have been a good time breaking the law.

  8. But I was actually interested in this! Government is now interfering with my freedom to be naked and scared. Well I suppose I’ll just have to be more resourceful.

    1. I was wondering when you’d appear, waffles. You seemed excited about the prospect when it first came up.

  9. My daughter heard the ad for this on the radio while we were in the car. She, as a teenage girl, caught on immediately. “Well anyone who would go naked out there would probably be butt-ugly, No Thanks!”

    I was proud of her.

  10. “I’m not a lawyer. I’m just a small-town mayor…”

    One hundred thousand years ago, a caveman was out hunting in the plains, when he slipped and fell into a crevasse, where he was frozen solid. In 1988, he was discovered by scientists and was thawed out. He then attended law school and became…The Unfrozen Caveman Mayor!

  11. “I’m not a lawyer. I’m just a small-town pillock?”

    Fixed it.

  12. The idea seems deeply silly rather than scary (but then that tends to be my attitude toward haunted houses anyways).

    This Halloween ‘haunted house’ may interest you, Mr. Shackford:


    You sign a waiver. You meet someone in a dark parking lot who tells you to hold out your hands. Someone behind you throws a bag over your head and they tie you up and throw you in the trunk of a car. They take you out to a field, put you in a coffin and bury you alive for 15 minutes (apparently, oxygen will last that long). Then they dig you up.

    1. Or they go to a nearby bar and, as they’re drinking, they have this nagging feeling that they’ve forgotten someone…then they dismiss it from their minds.

  13. This isn’t zoned for that. You will need a lawyer.

    This is how freedom dies.

  14. Someone is going to have to do this at Burning Man.

    I find the idea bizarrely appealing.
    A haunted house has got to be scarier when your naked and uncomfortable than when you are fully clothed.

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