If you live in a conservative community like I do, you’ve probably seen a handful of churches advertising these attractions you can visit from mid to late October, where you go inside a decorated place to get a fright.
No, these attractions aren’t haunted houses–they’re called Hell Houses, and they’re “designed to save your soul.” They have absolutely nothing to do with Halloween fun, since celebrating Halloween is a sin.
Never been to a Hell House? Lucky you! I’ll describe the one I visited with my Dad when I was a teenager (we went just to check it out, not to divert my soul from going to Hell), that way if you happen to see one advertised, you won’t mistakenly think you’re going to partake in Halloween fun when you’re not.
You’ll go in several rooms where you’ll witness “actors” (mostly middle school to high school age kids) portraying people who never accepted Jesus, like the atheists and folks from other religions, or people who have participated in a variety of other sins, but are too far gone to be redeemed. You might see drunk people, people who have had premarital sex (they’ll be under the sheets and much will be made of the lack of wedding bands!), had abortions (don’t fucking ask for the details of this), got divorced, are gay, gamble, watch porn, murdered someone, or otherwise engaged in activities that didn’t glorify God.
After seeing all this sinfulness, you get to a room that is actually Hell (as no Hell House worth its salt would be without it), which is complete with a fog machine, red lights, and a dude dressed something like this:And guess who else is in Hell? Almost all of the sinners mentioned above (the people in the last room scurry in to take their place in Hell a little late). They’re on the ground writhing in agony, begging God to forgive them, and screaming about how they wish they’d never had that abortion, had that drink, or killed that person.
But, wait! It isn’t too late for you!
After watching the sins and checking out people suffering in Hell, you get to a room that has white sheets draped everywhere. There’s canned harp music, candles, angels dressed in white sweatpants and sweatshirts, and, of course, Jesus. Jesus has the white robe, long blonde hair, a patchy goatee, and is inviting everyone in there not to make the same mistakes the folks in Hell made.
After fake Jesus gives his speech, the pastor comes out. Cheesy pop Christian music starts playing, and the pastor invites everyone to accept the Lord. If you accept or have already accepted and want to renew your relationship, you get down on your knees and pray (and you damn well better pick one, otherwise the show won’t get on the road). And, on the way out, you’ll be offered a bulletin so you’ll know when church services are and will be told to feel free to make a donation (on top of the $12 admission), if your heart was moved by what you saw (in other words, your ass belongs with the sinners on the carpeted floor of Hell if you don’t cough up some change).
Sound like fun?
[I’ll go ahead and apologize if this post offends anyone, but this type of thing offends me, so I guess we’re even.]