Horror movies, scary masks and haunted houses are the typical ways we get geared up for Halloween. If you’re one of those people always looking for the biggest scare, though, visiting a few Christian hell houses might be right up your alley. While they typically focus on teaching religious lessons, they do so in the most terrifying way possible.
The idea of these haunted attractions goes all the way back to the 1970s. They’re meant to showcase what the creators believe to be sinful activities – along with the eventual outcome of such behaviors. Regardless of your religious affiliation, checking out a Christian hell house this Halloween may be the scariest thing you do.
Best Christian Hell Houses
This writer finds it difficult to pick the “best” when it comes to haunted houses based on religious teachings. This isn’t because some of them don’t stand out. In reality, many of these are just insanely terrifying and grotesque. To get an idea of what I mean, check out this trailer for the Trinity Church hell house:
That’s some scary stuff, right? Did you notice the school shooting scene? That moment was featured in the Christian hell house just six months after the Columbine school shooting. This caused a bit of uproar throughout the country. A documentary titled Hell House was even released about the religious haunted house in 2002.
Bethel Church in Temple, TX has also garnered a bit of attention in the media. Texas Monthly reported that scenes depicted in this haunted attraction included domestic violence, drunk driving, abortion and suicide. Here’s a little sneak peek of what you can expect should you ever venture into a similar Christian hell house:
In each of these Evangelical haunted houses, you’re likely to see teenagers make choices deemed sinful by the church. By the end of the experience, you can expect a few dead teenagers. Actually, it will probably be lots of dead teenagers. Years after experiencing one of these attractions, one former church congregant had this to say about a scene she remembered:
“But what I really remember is all the bodies. It was just, bodies hanging halfway out of the car, and blood pouring out of them. There was blood everywhere. I thought about that recently, actually, when I was in my very first car wreck. I’m okay, and my car is okay, but I was hydroplaning for a second and this scene flashed back to me. It was so graphic.”
So in summation, you can expect Christian hell houses to stick with you for a while.
The Rise of Christian Hell Houses
The first haunted house centered around religious teachings is believed to be Scaremare, an attraction created by Jerry Falwell’s followers. It was around 1996 – nearly 20 years after Scaremare began – that a Colorado preacher took things to the next level. He created the Hell House Outreach Kit – which included sound effects, scripts and more essential items for hosting a hell house.
Within 10 years, he had sold this kit to more than 800 ministries around the country. The pastor estimated that around 3,000 houses of worship were hosting similar events by 2006. That same year, Trinity Church was boasting around 10,000 yearly visitors to their Christian hell house. You remember Trinity Church – the ones with the Columbine scene?
You can see one of their more recent entries below:
The discussion surrounding these religious-themed haunted houses has died down in recent years. This is mostly because they’re not as novel anymore. They’ve come to be expected, but the content is just as graphic as ever. Denver’s Abundant Life Christian Center even depicted a date rape scene in one of their prior performances.
If you’re looking for a haunted attraction that will stick with you, a Christian hell house might be the right decision. Even if you don’t subscribe to their beliefs, you’ll no doubt have an unsettling experience. For everyone else, sticking to haunted house movies might be the way to go.
Where Are the Religious Haunted Houses
If you look hard enough, you’ll undoubtedly find a haunted attraction with religious undertones in your city. For those who are really looking for the best, though, the following Christian hell houses are among the most popular. Keep in mind that availability may differ due to COVID-19.
- Scaremare – Lynchburg, PA
- Hell House Trinity – Cedar Hill, TX
- Judgement House – Rock Hill, SC
- Judgement House – White Pine, TN
I’m going to be real with you. Some of these places might be a bit more frightening than the actual most haunted house in America. I think I’ll sit this one out.
Have You Ventured Into One?
Have you ever stepped inside of an actual Christian hell house? Let us know in the comments! How was your experience? Does it still stick out in your mind today? Tell us where you went and if they’re still hosting the event, and we might just feature it before Halloween!