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The Fear is Real

A New View of Halloween “Hell Houses”

By Lucia Hulsether

“Mom, is this going to be scary?” asked an elementary school-age boy waiting in line behind me at the Tribulation Trail in Stockbridge, Georgia. His mother brushed off the question: “It’s only scary if you don’t accept Jesus.”

But at Tribulation Trail fear was a theme from beginning to end. And if it wasn’t a traumatic experience for this child, it probably should have been.

For many right-wing evangelical Christians, Halloween season is defined not by haunted houses, but by hell houses. Why scare people with whimsical ghosts and vampires when you can produce the same fear by portraying the (true and foretold) torture of unrepentant sinners—and win souls for Christ in the process? This is the logic of fundamentalist Christians who participate in hell houses.

Read the original article at: Religion Dispatches

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