Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hell House

I can't sleep. I just watched a documentary with some friends called "Hell House" about a church who runs a "haunted house" type thing but instead of ghosts & mummies they scare you with sin & hell.

It was awful. It was disturbing. It was infuriating. It was hard to watch.

It wasn't even in the plans for tonight...we wanted to see the documentary premiering tonight about the Mexican prison system & the injustices of it... but there was a cable problem & we had to choose something from Netflix instead... so Hell House sounded interesting. And now I can't sleep.

There are really 2 things keeping me awake...


The way these scenes were scripted went so far beyond fire & brimstone... they were painful & scarring. Example: one room was a rave & some girl gets slipped something in her drink, then she's in her bedroom with a demon screaming at her. The banter says she was raped & this demon is screaming "You're worthless now. Who could ever love you after this? How could your God have let this happen to you?" And then she kills herself. And goes to hell.

What... the... fuck?

Sorry, I try not to use the F bomb on my blog, but I feel like this is an occasion that totally calls for it. Can anyone tell me the point of this scene? Don't go to parties, you'll get raped & die? My heart feels completely broken for all the girls who walked through that room & heard the "You're worthless" all too loud & clear. Or who have maybe gone through something horrible like that & this scene just reaffirms their fear that maybe it was their fault. And this is just ONE example in the whole "hell house"!

It just seems to cause so much pain & hurt. I know a God of healing & restoration, not of shame & fear.


It makes me sick that this came from a church. Possibly more disturbing than the actual content were the people. Not because they were monsters... the opposite. Believe it or not their hearts seem sincere. They see this as a way to share God. But by what methods? It's scary that about 1/2 of what they say is right on target but somehow the result is so wrong.

I think some of my friends who watched this with me tonight left feeling angry, some just in disbelief, but I still can't help but feel heartbroken. That's what's really keeping me awake... I feel pain for people who walked through that house & saw their life on display & told they're going to burn. I want to hug them & tell them they're loved. But I can't, the damage has been done... by people who tote the same title as me. Wow. Hell House IS scary afterall.


  1. What breaks my heart MOST is that people like this think THIS is the message that people need to hear. Not that I advocate one belief system over another, but this is why I think the Dalai Lama one of the most awesome humans on this earth. I happened to save an e-mail my Mom sent me from a friend of hers who is dying of cancer. I rarely save the touchy feely e-mails she likes to forward me, but this one was so beautiful it made me cry...here's what it said (well the important part anyway):

    "The best religion is the one that gets you closest to God. It is the one that makes you a better person...I am not interested, my friend, about your religion or if you are religious or not. What really is important to me is your behavior in front of your peers, family, work, community, and in front of the world. Remember, the universe is the echo of our actions and our thoughts.The law of action and reaction is not exclusively for physics. It is also of human relations. If I act with goodness, I will receive goodness. If I act with evil, I will get evil.Take care of your Thoughts because they become Words.

    Take care of your Words because they will become Actions.
    Take care of your Actions because they will become Habits.
    Take care of your Habits because they will form your Character.
    Take care of your Character because it will form your Destiny,
    and your Destiny will be your Life.

    There is no religion higher than the Truth."

  2. I have also seen Hell House. In my opinion, the F word is not only appropriate but practically required by any conversation about that movie.


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