Church boycotts Howl-O-Scream saying it’s too violent

October 15th, 2010 by Staff

LAKELAND

A local church is boycotting Busch Garden’s Howl-O-Scream, saying it’s too violent.

This year’s theme is based around a fictional female musician, according to park officials.

But some parents believe the Halloween-themed event promotes domestic violence and bullying.

About 70 people gathered at Ignited Church in Lakeland Thursday to urge families to boycott the event because of the theme’s violent nature.

“It’s all about torture and murder,” said Ignited Church Youth Pastor Holly Strader. “There are no longer the monsters and the villains. Now, it’s real life people, college-age girls, who are attractive, appealing. These are the one’s taking the revenge and performing acts of violence.”

A Busch Gardens spokesperson argued the event is for adults. Park officials provided this written statement Thursday:

“This year, we took extra precautions with our outdoor campaign to not depict blood. We trust that adults understand that Busch Gardens does not condone nor support real life violence. We respect the opinion of our fans, guests, and the community and always take feedback into consideration when developing new campaigns.”

The event opponents said they sent a letter to the park’s CEO to urge a theme change. They’ve also sent emails to hundreds of businesses and youth organizations urging them to reconsider attending the event.


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