Some churches have Halloween festivals. Other churches take things a step further and put on Haunted Houses, or Hell Houses, or Holy Houses, or whatever.
This can be a problem, though. Most Christians are experts in things like grace and fried chicken, not things like horror. Fortunately I am the exception: I was homeschooled for 32 years, during which time I endured unspeakable terrors that would have crippled lesser men:
So let me give you some suggestions on how to make your church’s haunted house terrifying. Add just a few of these rooms and your church’s attendance will double, probably.
Do you have teens coming to your haunted house? Herd them into this room, which contains nothing but an old desktop computer. Lock the door behind you and watch the terror unfold.
After a few minutes of standing around, the teenagers will pull out their iPhones, except they won’t work (THERE IS NO WI-FI IN THE 90s ROOM). The teens will then wander over to the computer, where they will spend hours figuring out how to plug the phone cord into the back of the computer to get AOL to work and AGHHH WHAT IS THAT AWFUL SOUND IT’S LIKE A DUBSTEP SONG HAVING SEX WITH ANOTHER DUBSTEP SONG
Oh that? That’s how we used to get to the internet, boys and girls.
You had enough? You want to call mommy and daddy? Here’s a 5lb cell phone with 20 minutes of battery life. Texting? Nope, you have to dial the number and speak to another human. Web browser? Listen, you sentient lumps of pumpkin spice, in the 90s you couldn’t stream 20 gigs of hardcore porn to your Apple Watch–you had to pause the VHS tape during Varsity Blues like everyone else…did…uh…I’ve said too much. That was a different time. I’m under grace now. I don’t even like whipped cream.
Charismatic Room of Doom
Do you have Assemblies of God, Church of God, or Vineyard Christians in your haunted house? Usher them into this room, which is full of empty chairs facing a giant curtain. Once all of the charismatic believers are seated, raise the curtain:
Oh yes, it’s John MacArthur, and for the next 8 hours he will harangue you with cessationist exposition until you try to commit seppuku with the LifeWay gift card with a $0.30 balance you found in the back of your wallet. The doors are locked, you can’t escape, and if you just give him a moment, he’ll prove that Lonnie Frisbee was Gog and Aimee Semple McPherson was Magog.
Pastor’s Den of Horrors
Hey, pastors are people too, sort of. If you have ministers in your haunted house, why not scare them as badly as you scare everyone else? Lead all the pastors into this room, where an elderly woman is sitting and staring at a calendar on the wall.
Who is that? YOU KNOW WHO THAT IS. That’s the 500-year-old widow who never liked you and has been on her deathbed since you took the job at this church 11 years ago. What’s she doing? Why is she looking at the calendar? Wait a minute…that’s your calendar! And she has the Saturday of your fishing trip circled! She’s going to die on a Thursday, that’s what she’s going to do. That way the funeral service will be on…Saturday. Guess who has to stay behind and give a eulogy while the guys in your small group try out the new lures…Well played, old friend. Well played.
And then the pastors will turn around, thinking that the scares are over, except…
IT’S THE DEACON’S WIFE WITH THE CLEAVAGE! She’s coming up to talk to you! You are trapped–what can you say about her cleavage? You can’t say anything. You just have to maintain eye contact.
You went to seminary, you can do this
Just maintain eye contact
Don’t look down
Don’t look down
BY THE POWER OF WAYNE GRUDEM DON’T LOOK DOWN
Church of Christ Room of Terror
Independent Fundamental Baptist Room of Terror
Work Day Room of Dread
Lead all the able-bodied men and women into a dark room and suddenly flip on the lights.
Nothing but a big pile of mulch and shovels. Now shine a spotlight into each person’s face and watch the terror and dread mount.
Sure, I understand why you didn’t come to the work day. Grandfather’s funeral. What is this now, 7 grandfathers you’ve lost since you’ve been a member here?
Oh, your back went out on you? Was this before or after you played 18 holes with Trent from accounting?
The Ultimate Terror
From the years 1989-2003, the scariest thing I could imagine was making it all the way to the day of your wedding without having sex, and then exchanging your vows only to hear the trumpet and realize that Jesus is coming back. And then you’d be floating up to New Jerusalem going NOOOOOOOO and trying to at least get to second base as you drift through the clouds.
This doesn’t have anything to do with haunted houses, though, it’s just something that still scares me, and makes me break out Christian pickup lines on the wife, just in case Jesus comes back tonight.