By: Emily Smith Beitiks, Assistant Director
As a proud recent addition to the Paul Longmore Institute on Disability, I was recently reminded of Paul Longmore’s essay exploring how every Christmas, negative representations of disability abound through the popular Christmas character Tiny Tim. Alas, Christmas isn’t the only holiday that invokes problematic notions of disability.
Tomorrow is Halloween and many thrill-seekers across the country will visit haunted houses, hoping to make it through without embarrassing themselves in front of their friends and family. From Denver to Las Vegas to Flint, many haunted houses pull in large crowds by offering an “asylum” theme. Sometimes, the asylum theme is entirely fictionalized, but a few attractions even take place in abandoned institutions and hospitals, using the history of institutions to make for an even scarier attraction because “the fear is real.” Once inside, attendees can expect to be scared by doctors and nurses, and at…
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