October 31, 2001 6:37 AM   Subscribe

Hell Houses Run by Baptists!!!!! Does this happen in your neck of the woods? I had never heard of it, but on the radio this morning I heard that September 11th has become a popular motif for these haunted houses. I think this might be the scariest thing about Halloween.
posted by wsfinkel (17 comments total)
"Hell Houses" lure unsuspecting youngsters, charge a fee, and play up the Hallowe'en theme to justify frightening youngsters into considering the Christian religion.

Oh geez, talk about unbalanced reporting [coming from a site called positiveatheism you'd expect better]. I've seen these things pop up and known kids that have gone. They're the same kids that have very religious parents, go to Church multiple times a week and know exactly what they are getting into.

If a church-related/church-sponsered/church-hosted Halloween event isn't enough to set off a few bells then those supposed "unsuspected youngsters" deserve to be tricked. After all it is Halloween.
posted by skallas at 7:02 AM on October 31, 2001

i think i saw this in 'king of the hill'. (the 'hilloween' episode)

skallas - there are 4 links in wsfinkel's post. i assume you are refering to the positiveatheist site, rather than the baptists4ethics one:

"[Hell] is the ultimate haunted house, which is where [visitors] will spend eternity if they do not accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior," read the Calvary Baptist Church Web site in Clearwater, Fla. "Judgement House (TM) is an extremely effective way to bring people to Jesus because it clearly presents the gospel to those who attend."
posted by asok at 7:15 AM on October 31, 2001

I know that these weren't the most balanced articles, however, the churches have counselors on hand to discuss issues if the visitors decide they want to seek conversion. The purpose of these events is clear and it is obviously only the dim-witted who would go there not knowing what to expect. However, I never thought intelligence level was a discriminant in seeking converts
posted by wsfinkel at 7:22 AM on October 31, 2001

Churches have been doing this for years, at least in Mississippi and Virginia where I grew up: I remember reading about these in the '80s. I've never been to one, though. Are any of them any fun? Or would that run counter to the intent?
posted by BT at 7:28 AM on October 31, 2001

I remember that these were mostly intended for kids. Unless things have changed since I've been through one, they were mostly a lot of fun even though I really didn't pay attention to the message as much then.
posted by samsara at 7:33 AM on October 31, 2001

The message of the one I went to a few years ago was to not be a "rainy day Christian," and was more a walk-through of a short play than a haunted house. I didn't really enjoy it, but I can't say I was surprised it was a "Hell House," considering it was on church property and was free. That's at least the outrage I see from the positiveatheism article: it's getting more bait-and-switch these days.
posted by markpasc at 8:00 AM on October 31, 2001

These things are run, I'm sure, by the same people who won't let their children read Harry Potter because it 'promotes witchcraft'. Sounds like a boatload of fun to me.
posted by tippiedog at 8:00 AM on October 31, 2001

I think the scariest thing about Halloween is that molesters and perverts run free.
posted by SaltedWound at 8:52 AM on October 31, 2001

the first time i saw the haunted house kits for churches linked from LandoverBaptist i thought it was a joke.

it was funny as a joke.

i guess some entrepreneurial lefty will eventually have a Ronald Reagan/Jerry Falwell hell house. THAT would be scary.
posted by th3ph17 at 9:02 AM on October 31, 2001

I had never heard of it, but on the radio this morning I heard that September 11th has become a popular motif for these haunted houses.

The Naples (FL) Jaycees chapter Haunted House is probably the most publicized instance of this. What are they doing? Executing Osama bin Laden.

How this fits in with their creed is anybody's guess.
posted by iceberg273 at 9:07 AM on October 31, 2001

Calvary's Judgement House is a huge attraction in this community. They even recommend that you make reservations.

Apparently, it's been spun off into its own organization: Judgement House Ministry.

Is there a Judgement House near you? Don't forget to bring a "lost friend".
posted by ahughey at 9:43 AM on October 31, 2001

I would make a hell house and have pictures of every leader of every fundamentalist religion, Rush, Operation Rescue, midevil christian crusaders, OBL, and every other person/group that has twisted religion into something perverse and hate filled. That would be a scary trip through hell. And probably pretty right on as to who is there now.
posted by aacheson at 10:22 AM on October 31, 2001

I guess the old "Heck Houses" weren't scary enough.
posted by Skot at 10:25 AM on October 31, 2001

Actually I do believe in Hell, and have cancelled my reservations there.....

Let me ask you unreligious folk out there tho....do you feel that this sort of thing trivializes the message?

I have been involved in several plays that basically have the same modus operandi......in one I played a woman who committed suicide with a handgun (no gore but the gunshot was pretty loud..) ...I have always wondered about the intensity of that scene....I know my son(a teen) always hated to sit thru that part-tho he always wound up doing it anyway......
posted by bunnyfire at 1:11 PM on October 31, 2001

bunnyfire - no it doesn't trivialize the message, it just makes the message easier to ridicule

Seriously, most people seem to like to keep their entertainment and their proselytizing separate, which is why a movie like The Exorcist is good/scary/funny, whereas The Omega Code (i think, it was with Andie McDowell & Ed Harris, and was havily about that rapture thingy) was just a thin veil over a certain flavor of christianity, and really sucked.
posted by yesster at 1:27 PM on October 31, 2001

Let me ask you unreligious folk out there tho....do you feel that this sort of thing trivializes the message?

No, but I do feel it tends to spoil an awfully good Holiday. Why take your kids out to meet the neighbors, and get all kinds of candy and fun stuff, when you can see an execution? Or, perhaps a screaming woman, laying on a hospital bed after a botched abortion?
Fun stuff.
Reminds me of a coworker that came in with a shirt on that had the image of an aborted fetus on the front cover. (Pro lifer.) She backed it up by stating that she didn't believe in it, and felt it was a good message to relay.
I told her I didn't really like the fact that some guys screw their kids, but I didn't want to see it on a t-shirt.
But hey, why can't we all just get along? why not meet in the middle?
Maybe Satan could hand out some candy while burning the Homosexuals......
posted by bradth27 at 3:08 PM on October 31, 2001

speaking of candy-we did not get a single trick-or-treater last night. ....the neighbor told us that last year we had a ton of them so we stocked up on candy..(this is our first year in this house.....

I may not celebrate the day myself but even I see something a bit sad in that....
posted by bunnyfire at 3:37 AM on November 1, 2001

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