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‘Killers’ Haunted House, Inspired By Real Crimes, Sparks Controversy On LES

(credit: Joshua Hoffine/Facebook.com/NightmareNYC)

(credit: Joshua Hoffine/Facebook.com/NightmareNYC)

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Halloween

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A haunted house on the Lower East Side is stirring up some controversy as the Halloween season kicks off.

Instead of ghosts and goblins, the attraction instead scares its visitors by putting them in the company of actors playing such great members of the human race as John Wayne Gacy, Jr. and Ted Bundy.

Set to open on Friday, “Killers: A Nightmare Haunted House” is inspired by actual events. The rooms are based on real-life criminals, from Lizzie Borden and Jack the Ripper, to more modern day murderers like Jeffrey Dahmer.

CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu took a tour of the contested spot.

The producer of the haunted house, Timothy Haskell, insists that including real-life serial killers is meant to be nothing but a good scare.

“In no way am I glorifying them or making heroes out of them, they’re not to be liked,” he told Hsu.

LISTEN: NYC Residents React To Controversial Haunted House

A group representing the families of murder victims is sickened by the theme. One Queens resident told 1010 WINS John Montone that he understands why the folks would be upset.

“I think that’s totally disrespectful,” he said. “But you’re gonna find people that’s gonna wanna pay for that. They wanna get scared. So, to each his own.”

Lower East Side resident Florence Foley disagrees.

“I do think it’s just Halloween,” she said. “It’s not really a big deal. It’s just part of Halloween.”

From Haskell’s perspective, there’s nothing scarier than the real life “monsters” among us.

What do you think of the controversial idea? Is it all in fun or does it cross the line?