Some employees at the Akron Fright Fest have been suspended following accusations that they had mock raped some haunted house visitors, WJW-TV reported.
An Ohio couple said they were walking through one of the haunted houses in Tim Kam Park in Uniontown on Saturday night when one of the actors took things too far.
Ryan Carr told WJW that a man in a mask jumped out from under a bed, grabbed him, and threw him onto the bed.
"My girlfriend walks over and says, 'Hey, what are you doing? That's my boyfriend,' and he says, 'Not anymore. He's mine now. I'm going to rape him,' and then he started thrusting against me," Carr said. "And after like four seconds of that it was kinda completely awkward so I just like sat up and said, 'I'm going to go now,' and I left."
FrightFest features six haunted houses. One of its houses is touted as R-rated because it allows full contact. All attendees must sign a waiver to enter and no one under 18 is permitted. But Carr said the R-rated house wasn't the one that he and his girlfriend visited.
"In all the years I've been going to haunted houses, I have never seen anything like that, ever," Carr's girlfriend Sarah Lelonek told WEWS-TV.
Another haunted house visitor told WJW that they had experienced something similar to what Carr alleged happened to him.
"They grabbed my ankles and shins and pulled my legs apart and was thrusting while telling me to scream papa," the visitor wrote in a Facebook message to the news station.
What did the haunted house manager say?
On Sunday, the park issued a long "public service announcement" on Facebook in response to the claims and denied any wrongdoing.
"[W]e are getting a lot of comments about things that are not even happening here. I refuse at this point to continue answering everyone individually so this will be a blanket post to everybody you can choose what you believe but I would not believe most of these negative posts," the post said.
A day later, Jeremy Caudill, the managing partner of Melanie Lake Inc. at Kim Tam Park, issued a statement on Facebook.
"I was shocked and appalled when I learned about the allegations of a mock rape scene at one of the Akron Fright Fest haunted houses," he said. "We’re still investigating and trying to find out exactly what happened, and we’re hearing some confusing, inconsistent reports. When we know more, we’ll act based on what we learn. But I want to emphasize this point: There is no place for anything like this at our park."
Caudill said the company has hired extra security and installed other measures to create a safer environment. The company also promised to donate a portion of its proceeds to the Rape Crisis Center of Medina.
"Obviously, rape is a horrible act. Even a mock rape scene has no place as part of any entertainment. And it has no place at our park," the statement read.
The park posted this Facebook announcement on Saturday that warned visitors that their clothes would be destroyed in the R-rated haunted house.
"**Attention Attention ** if you want to do house number six this evening it’s an additional $30 on top of your haunted house package you must I repeat you must bring an extra set of clothes - The clothes that you wear going into this house will be completely destroyed
"This is not marketing this is not hype house number six is open tonight for all of you Extrem adrenaline junkies for everybody else we have our other really good really amazing haunted houses open rated 14 and older
Smash this post and share it for a chance to win free tickets tonight 1 ticket per 100 shares," the post read.