In 2001, director George Ratcliff came out with his documentary entitled Hell House, on Christian haunted house attractions bearing the same name.
"Hell Houses are a distinctly American phenomenon which began in 1990 just outside of Dallas, at the Trinity Assembly of God Church. The original Hell House was conceived as a modern-day fire-and-brimstone sermon. Today, this religious ceremony of sorts is replete with actors, extensive lighting equipment and full audio-visual tech crews." (Hell House Site)
I first heard about this in the mid 90's, back then I thought it was nuts, But, Eruesso tells me this church in Dallas is doing " Hell House 19." That's 19 years of extreme tricks and "no " treats. But the vampires, ghosts, and demons of a traditional haunted house have been replaced by scenes of family violence, suicide, abortion, drug and alcohol use. Instead of scaring kids with Freddy Krueger their using real life situations and the fear of eternal damnation to spook them into salvation. Is Christianity really about being afraid of Hell? Is their any room for fear in a message of Love? What do we do with this message of Fear?
Here's a clip...
Eruesso tells of his experience of going through Hell House, he seems to have exited Hell unscathed, and appears coherent and relatively normal. He recommends going through one. I think I'll pass.
I find it interesting that any church that immerses itself in the truth of the Gospels could come up with the imagination to reveal salvation from such an extreme angle. I don't see anywhere, where Jesus scared the hell out of anyone. It was more He loved the hell out of them.
I wonder if you had a haunted house displaying scenes from the Bible of profound radical scandalous love what effect that would have. Probably not much, since post 9/11, and terrorism we seem content to imagine nothing but fear.