Hell House: Evangelical Christians Scare Children Into Following Jesus
HELL Houses will scare you kids into following the ways of Chris. They can also make you straight.
Brian Kirk told us:
“Part of salvation is being afraid of going to hell,” says the youth pastor at Trinity Church Assemblies of God in Cedar Hill, Texas. As depicted in the excellent documentary Hell House, each Halloween season Trinity Church hosts an alternative to the traditional haunted house. Instead of vampires and werewolves, guests are treated to scenes such as a young girl having an abortion, a gay man suffering from AIDS, a teen dying in an auto accident who failed to give his life to Christ. In each scenario, these presumed sinners are tormented by actors dressed as demons. The implication, none too subtle, is that each deserves both their suffering and their one-way ticket to damnation. The gay man, molested by his uncle as a child, chose to have sex and contract HIV. The teen girl chose to get drugged at a rave, raped, and become pregnant. The boy in the car wreck chose hell because he refused to listen to his parents’ religious teachings. The message of these hell houses is that the same fate awaits us all. But wait! There’s hope. These terror tours usually end with a glimpse of heaven and the opportunity to give one’s life to Jesus.
Over the past 17 years, Evangelical churches around the world (though predominantly in the Southern and Midwestern United States) have received over 75,000 visitors to Hell Houses – haunted houses aimed not just at scaring you, but at teaching you that “sin destroys and Jesus saves.” The houses typically have seven rooms that depict mortal sins, such as suicide, drunk driving, homosexuality, abortion, or domestic abuse. Most of the scenarios end in death. And they all end with Hell and Heaven rooms, which show the everlasting consequences of our life’s decisions – i.e. eternal damnation and torture, or acceptance into the kingdom of God.
There are many variations on this theme: a hayride through hell, a demon-guided stroll in a cemetery, a train trip of terror, and so on—but all presentations have three things in common. First, there is a series of mini-dramas, gruesome, death-centered tableaux always presented in lurid, edgy (some say cheesy), soap-opera style. These run the gamut from smoking-related cancer deaths to school shootings, teen suicides, fiery car crashes, botched abortions, homosexual teens dying of AIDS, and all kinds of family traumas—domestic violence, divorce, sex abuse (including incest), and the like. The aim of the skit is to show the truth of the New Testament dictum, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23), not only physical death in this world, but also eternal punishment in hell in the next.
After the “incidents” come the consequences, namely, a visit to hell. “Hell” is a dark, smoke-filled room complete with strobe lights and the shrieks of tortured souls. The dénouement is a Mel Gibson-esque portrayal of the crucifixion followed by a personal appeal to accept Jesus Christ. Sometimes an actor impersonating Jesus makes the appeal himself in a breath-minted, nose-to-nose encounter with those presumably shaken by what they have seen.
You can buy a Hell House kit:
Hell House Kit – Teen Drunk Driver
Homosexuality – No one is born gay. Genesis C1 V27 says that God created man in His own image. Homosexuality is sin and is not just an alternative lifestyle.
Abortion – It is not merely a surgical procedure or the removal of a mass of tissue. It is the taking of a human life!
Suicide – The solution to your problems and depression is not found through ending your life. Let Jesus carry you through those tough times and be the strength you are searching for.
Drunk Driving – The false highs and constant lows of alcohol are never more sobering than when you realize that you are a killer.
Satanism – The occult is very powerful and not something to toy with. Jesus Christ possesses the only power greater than the kingdom of darkness.
Hell – Hell is not an eternal party place. It is the home of never-ending torment, anguish and permanent damnation and separation from God.
Heaven – Heaven is the eternal reward for those whose names are written in the Book Of Life. It is a place of exquisite beauty crowned by the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and His holy angels.
Additional Scene Packages Available:
Domestic Abuse – A phenomenal surprise beginning to the production starts by including this scene. The home and family is a major target for the kingdom of hell and abuse is fuel on the fire for doing damage to marriages and relationships.
Rave Scene – Youth culture often sees itself as wildly indestructible. The underground world of rave clubs and drug usage proves to be a deadly combination, and hell’s demons rejoice.
Gay Wedding – The sacred institution of marriage between a man and a woman is further disgraced by the unholy union of a man and a man, and Satan wouldn’t have it any other way.
How was hello house for you? Read the reviews of Trinity Church 1231 E. Pleasant Run Rd. Cedar Hill:
I am not a churchgoer. Organized religion works well for some people but I’m very much of the “whatever floats your boat, just keep it to yourself” way of thinking. BUT Hell House is such a icon of crazy religiosity that when I realized it was only 30 minutes away, I had to check it out…
What wasn’t lame was the abortion scenario -it was clearly the scene they put the most effort into. The girl who acted as the nurse demon was really funny and good at delivering her didactic, misguided anti-choice rhetoric. They pulled out some “baby chunks” and showed them around to the crowd and one of the death monitors said “Mmmmmm.”…
They say you can thank Jerry Falwell for the show:
Colorado-based Keenan Roberts has led the way with his publication of a how-to kit for pastors and youth ministers who want to put a little scare-mongering into their teen evangelism program. For several hundred dollars you can buy this resource with directions on how to construct an effective Hell House. There are scripts for seven rooms and instruction on how to present a graphic hell scene and a closing “come to Jesus” scenario. If you want some help putting on a sizzling evangelism event this Halloween, then Roberts’ Hell House Outreach Kit just might be what you are looking for! This kit, available in all fifty states and twenty-six countries around the world, is sold to church leaders who want to “get prayed up and powered up” and “prepared for the ride” of their ministry life. The kit comes with this admonition: Shake your city with the most “in-your-face, high-flyin’, no denyin’, death-defyin’, Satan-be-cryin’, keep-ya-from-fryin’, theatrical stylin’, no holds barred, cutting-edge” evangelism tool of the new millennium!
Photo: The Rev. Jerry Falwell, President of the Moral Majority, takes a turn atop a Texas longhorn steer during a party sponsored by the National Political Action Committee in Dallas on Tuesday, August 21, 1984.
Now enjoy the film: