In the midst of the Ebola scare surging across the United States, one Dallas man has decided to take advantage of the panic and build his very own Ebola-themed haunted house. James Faulk, a resident of a particularly affluent section of University Park, designed his own house with bio-horror decorations, complete with yellow caution tapes, barrels with biohazard warnings, and red plastic bags labeled “biohazard infectious waste,” eerily recreating the scenes outside three apartments that were quarantined by the CDC shortly after Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan’s death last October 8.
Faulk, donning a hazmat suit, told The Associated Press that he is already bracing himself for the negative reactions about to come his way.
“There’s negative people everywhere and they are going to give me grief about it but it’s all in good fun.”
Sure enough, Dallas residents weren’t too thrilled to see the house in their neighborhood, and expressed their dismay over the decor. In a letter to the editor of the Dallas Morning News, one reader wrote that James Faulk “crossed the line” when he decided to take advantage of the Ebola scare for this year’s Halloween.
“I believe James Faulk has crossed the line of what is acceptable as a source of humor and good fun.”
The reader adds that the haunted house theme is offensive not only to Dallas residents who suffered from the effects of the disease, but also to people in West Africa, who are currently losing the battle to Ebola.
“There are children who have lost parents. There others who have survived the disease but have lost their entire families. I don’t believe they would find this funny. Neither should we. I hope the people of West Africa never hear of this cruel and tasteless act.”
Some people were more accepting of the Ebola-themed decor. One person commented on the letter defending Faulk’s Halloween theme, saying that the decorations were “clever and creative.”
Just a few weeks ago, Thomas Eric Duncan, the very first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., passed away in a Dallas hospital. Shortly after his death, two of the nurses who took care of Duncan were quarantined following suspicions that they had contracted the deadly disease.
BBC News reported Saturday that the two nurses have already been cleared from the virus. One of them, Nina Pham, met with President Obama hours after being discharged from the hospital.
Ebola has killed almost 5,000 people, and has afflicted more than 10,000 others in at least eight countries around the world, mostly in West Africa, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
[Image from Ian Aberle/Flickr]