John Wayne Gacy was one of the most notorious serial killers in American history and now thrill seekers can know what it’s like to walk into his living room.
A Gacy-inspired room is one of the centerpieces of Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, a giant haunted house in Chicago. The room includes an actor wearing Gacy’s trademark clown costume with two dolls dressed as Boy Scouts sitting on a couch.
The John Wayne Gacy room has inspired mixed feelings in Chicago. In the 1970s he committed at least 33 murders in the Chicago area, luring young victims to his home in Norwood Park Township and strangling them to death.
Gacy buried 26 of his victims in the crawl space of his home and buried three others in his backyard. His last four known victims were dumped into the Des Plaines River.
John Wayne Gacy was convicted of killing 33 people and sentenced to death. After 14 years on death row, he was executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994.
Rob Zombie admitted that he expected backlash for the John Wayne Gacy room, but said he doesn’t regret doing it.
“The Gacy room is funny,” said Zombie, 49, Thursday at the Odeum. “Last year what it was was these little dead kids lying around and John Wayne Gacy is sitting in the chair folding balloon animals for you…. There probably will be (backlash). There was last year in California. They didn’t like the Manson one because that was a California issue…. This is the home of all serial killers — the Midwest. So they’ll hate everything, I guess.”
But at the same time Rob Zombie recommends that young kids skip out on the Great American Nightmare.
“We really try to make these for teenagers and adults,” he said. “I mean, little kids go through, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. So I think the most graphic thing you can do is the best. Make ’em horrible.”
But Chicago residents still stung by the horrors John Wayne Gacy committed are not happy. Several commenters have called the exhibit inappropriate, saying it dishonors the memory of the children and teenagers he killed.