Rape charities have today hit out at a scary festival which has a sexually explicit section.
The Scare Kingdom Scream Park, held at Hawkshaw Farm Park in the Ribble Valley, has a separate room targeted at over 18s.
The majority of the Scare Kingdom, run by AtmosFEAR! Scare Entertainment, is based in the out-buildings around the farm with parts in a corn field.
But graphic scenes happen at the end of the main attraction in a room called the Psychomanteum.
An Evening Post reporter visited the attraction and was:
• Shoved into a wheelchair and had a bag put over her head
• Strapped down to a bed with a pillow over her face
• Climbed on top of by a man while strapped to the bed
• Confronted by a man waving a sex toy in her face.
Psychomanteum is separate to the main attraction and it requires an additional charge of £3.50. Those who enter are given a ‘safe word’ which enables them to cut short the experience.
Today, Jo Wood, a trustee at Rape Crisis said: “I am absolutely horrified that anyone can find it okay to prey on a woman’s deepest vulnerability and fear in this way in the name of cheap thrills, for who exactly?
“I can only imagine the damage this would do to a recovering victim, a long ago victim - or any sane member of public to be honest.
“This is not about Halloween - or scares - it is about humiliation. It errs on the dark side of scary - the secret and hidden world of sexual abuse under the cover of ‘fun’ and ‘just a laugh’.”
Valerie Wise, chief executive of Preston Domestic Violence Service added: “I think it is legitimising violence against people. The most common victims of personal violence are women. I think to make entertainment out of violence against people is horrendous.”
Before taking part, visitors have to sign a disclaimer stating they know they will be manhandled, it will be sexually explicit and a bag may be put over them.
It is only part of the Scare Kingdom that people enter alone.
The experience lasts about three minutes and concludes with the visitor being chased off by a man with a chainsaw.
Jason Karl, chief creative executive of AtmosFEAR! Scare Entertainment said: “Psychomanteum is a strictly 18 plus attraction which is an additional feature of the park.
“It is up to guests whether or not to enter. Those who do enter have the content of the experience explained and sign a disclaimer saying they wish to experience it.
“Psychomanteum is set in a fictional Victorian correctional facility where fear is pushed to the limit with intense and graphic encounters which are designed to make the guest feel uncomfortable and scared.
“We have had many positive reviews and feedback from guests, none of whom have complained of being offended by their experience.
“Attractions of this nature have previously been operated in various scare entertainment parks all over the world.”
It is the fifth year the festival has returned to the farm. In 2011, it was voted the ‘number one scream park.’
While visitors are in the room on their own, a live video feed of the activity is being streamed on a screen.