This segment originally aired Oct. 31, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
If you aren’t already scared enough by the 2016 election, try visiting Pedro Reyes’ 40,000 square foot political haunted house in New York City.
Opened to the public on Oct. 7, Doomocracy is a free exhibit, but tickets were sold out months in advance. The house includes installations like a tupperware party for guns, an alt-right AI teacher broadcasting revisionist history, and pro-life cheerleaders gleefully burning abortionists at the stake.
“The idea of a haunted house or a scare house is something that interested me because it’s a true American folk phenomenon,” Reyes told VICE News correspondent Mary H.K. Choi. “I thought that it was very interesting to stage something where the monsters, instead of being imaginary monsters like Dracula or Frankenstein, are representatives of our real fears.”
Reyes is based in Mexico City and is known for making playful, interactive installations that provide commentary on socially relevant subjects like mental health and gun control. The political haunted house is built for people who are reaching their breaking point with this election, Reyes said.
“Catharsis in Greek means purification. Purification means like a ritual that you do to expel a toxic substance.” he said. “And we are kind of expelling that as a scream.”