05 Oct

Scary — but maybe not in the way they intended

You may have heard of Hell Houses — a fundamentalist Christian spin on haunted houses, in which guests are frightened not by ghosts and goblins, but by rock and roll, abortions, AIDS, and Satan himself. Ian Williams has written a fascinating post about the Hollywood Hell House, a celebrity production based on the “official” Hell House blueprint:

“Among the high(low)lights: in one room a kid listens to some rock’n’roll and then blows away his entire classroom with a .357 magnum. In another, a woman has a botched abortion and tries to grab the unborn fetus from the doctor. In the best scene, a man with AIDS – pockmarked and covered in sores – is eaten in his hospital bed by a giant monster. And lastly, after descending into Hell itself, you meet a Hasidic Jew who is being ground into meat – and then you are granted audience with Lucifer himself.”

(Edited to add: A pastor involved in producing Hell Houses stopped by to proselytize in the comments on Ian’s page. I’m not sure that’s the most receptive audience…)

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