Entertainment & Events

Knott’s Berry Farm closes newest virtual reality haunted house

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Knott’s Berry Farm located in Buena Park, California has decided to close its mental institution themed haunted house due to health advocates complaining about the attraction.

From Sep. 22 through Oct. 31 Knott’s turns into Knott’s Scary Farm, but this year, the attraction will be a little less scary without the virtual reality haunted house.

The attraction, named Fear VR was the newest addition to the park, which portrayed a storyline of a possessed patient running around a mental institution. Visitors were strapped into chairs and were taken through the attraction wearing virtual reality headsets.

Originally the attraction was named Fear VR 5150 which symbolizes the state code authorizing the detention of a person suffering from a dangerous mental health concern. The ride itself warned of graphic adult material and encouraged attendees to be 13 years or older.



The park was taking a non-traditional, futuristic approach to haunted houses. Any ride that features virtual reality headsets sounds pretty cool to us, but mental health advocates were not on the same page.

Many people were not happy about the ride because it took an approach to mental illness that was upsetting too many people. Many stepped forward with their loved ones who were held on a 5150 many times, and that it is not something to make light of.

Knott’s Scary Farm received threats and unsettling complaints stating that mental illness is not something people should be afraid of, and should not be demonizing them.

The ride continued through the weekend, but ultimately closed the attraction. Knott’s released a statement saying that the ride was never intended to portray mental illness or offend people.

It seems like the farm can’t catch a break because there is now backlash over the decision to close the attraction. Many argue that it is a haunted house, and shouldn’t be taken seriously and that haunted houses are supposed to induce fear into people. Many people bought tickets this year just to attend Fear VR.


Knott’s Scary Farm has been held at the par since 1973, and will continue on through the years despite backlash. Whether or not the park will decide to re-open the attraction, there is still plenty of other spooky and fun things to do at Knott’s Berry Farm.

For all other attractions and ticket sales, visit Knott’s Berry Farm.


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