We’re certainly not saying, ‘Turn or burn.’ Forced faith is no faith at all. – Volunteer at ScareMare, a horror house with Jesus at the end.
These many attempts to transform Halloween into opportunities for Christian outreach really have some dicey efforts. Take for example this haunted house in Virginia. The “process” involves quenching the thirst to be scared with some realistic gore and fright, then giving Jesus and His message at the other end. Well, it seems kinda cool, but on the other hand it still appears to lift up the whole undead thing a little high.
I still give the effort a thumbs up….God’s church works in more ways than we can ever comprehend. About 20,000 people a year visit the ScareMare with many professions of faith. Just don’t get me in that horror house!
This from The Roanoke Times:
ScareMare’s holy horror house
This Halloween experience isn’t about scaring the bejesus out of visitors. Instead, it’s about scaring them and leading them to Jesus.
By ERINN HUTKIN
LYNCHBURG — Lighted torches glow on each side of the fogged-over entry gate. Then comes the graveyard marked with crooked tombstones leading to the house — weather-beaten, windows boarded, two stories tall and creepy.
The pre-Halloween sky is blue-black. A half moon is visible through the trees.
Shortly before showtime, a young man — a stage manager type — stands among the headstones and makes an announcement to the lost soul crouched beside an open grave, to the pale-faced guy carrying a severed arm and the young girl sitting upright in her burial plot, hair littered with dirt and dead leaves.
“You’re amazing, and I love you guys, and we’ve got a group coming pretty soon,” he says, exuberant.
Inside this empty house rumored to have been a day care center, an orphanage and the site of at least one death, nearly 200 students and volunteers from Liberty University gather on October weekends to run ScareMare, a haunted house.
This Halloween marks ScareMare’s 35th anniversary, drawing more than 300,000 visitors since 1972. Although those who operate the house that attracts roughly 20,000 visitors each fall from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and as far away as New Jersey and Canada attend a campus founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, there’s no shortage of blood.
Freddy Kruger is here with razor-blade fingers. As is the ghoul from “Scream.” Outside, anticipating the night’s first group and sporting bloody gashes across his face, Jesus waits on the cross.
“It’s really an evangelistic event,” said robe-clad Jesus — 22-year-old Liberty senior Douglas Slachter. “The majority of it is reaching out to those who don’t know Christ.”
Although some conservative Christians view Halloween as a pagan holiday and promote harvest festivals instead, ScareMare feeds people’s appetites for being freaked by the undead. After drawing people to the house, volunteers hope to lead them to Christ.
Although it’s not the only Christian-themed house — some that followed nationwide include anti-abortion scenes — ScareMare was perhaps the original.
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