Outrage over Ohio haunted house’s ‘Swastika Saturday’

PATASKALA, Ohio -- A Halloween venue in Ohio that held a "Swastika Saturday" the day a gunman opened fire at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh killing 11 said "we screwed up big time."

Haunted Hoochie in Pataskala put out a Facebook promotional post that day referring to "Swastika Saturday." The owner says it's the traditional last day of the season when some actors paint swastikas on themselves.

Some on social media accused the haunted house attraction of anti-Semitism and Nazism.

Haunted Hoochie said in a post Sunday that the attraction shows the "horrors of the world." But owner Tim May said Monday his posts were mistakenly taken to mean he was defending "horrible deplorables."

He later issued a statement saying "we screwed up big time," pledging $50,000 to the synagogue and extending condolences to families affected by the shooting.

Here is the venue's entire response which was posted on Facebook:

We screwed up big time

On behalf of the entire Haunted Hoochie staff, we first and foremost extend our sincerest condolences to the families affected by the tragedy in Pittsburgh, and the Jewish communities of the area.

Second, we will in no way tolerate any form of hatred on our grounds, from our staff, or from our guests. This means that certain costumes or themes may be deemed inappropriate and you will be denied admission or asked to leave the grounds.

We will not host any musical acts which perpetuate any kind of bigotry, intolerance, hate speech, anti-Semitism, or the like, now, or ever again.

The Haunted Hoochie is a place to escape the true evil in the world through the magic of Halloween theater- NOT perpetuate real evil.

We welcome anyone to our show with open arms- provided you do not bring evil or hatred.

We are working with community leaders to mend fences, and pledge our support to the victims with a fifty thousand dollar donation to the tree of life synagogue.

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