Saturday, October 10, 2020

Hell House ‘92: A Haunted Attraction Unlike Any Other

Halloween VHS Tapes

While many people across America enjoy various types of haunted attractions during the Halloween season, there is a segment of the population who enjoy a very specific type of haunt that isn’t quite the same as what most of us are used to. Of course the goal of a haunted house is to put the proverbial fear of God into their respective patrons. However, some haunts, often referred to as Hell Houses, take that idea to a more literal level.

This is best outlined by a 1992 VHS release of Hell House ‘92. Presented by Christian Retreat Family Church out of Bradenton, FL, Hell House ‘92 is essentially a hype video aimed at Christians and likely other churches looking for an alternative to the traditional Halloween haunted attraction. The term “Hell House” is a blanket term, and is best explained by the video’s unnamed host as “a Christian alternative for the traditional haunted houses at Halloween.” Before introducing a series of clips of what can be seen in this specific Hell House, the host goes on to describe the experience as “a powerful evangelism tool,” which is maybe more frightening than anything that Halloween as a holiday can throw our way.

Rare Halloween VHS Tapes

On the surface, the footage of the Hell House plays out like any old Haunted House, featuring creepy images meant to instill fear in patrons. Where things differ here, however, are the stories and the driving forces behind these horror scenes. Instead of set pieces featuring creepy clowns and chainsaw-wielding maniacs, the mostly teen audience is subjected to scenarios featuring suicide, abortion and interestingly enough any sort of partying. Essentially, the moral of each story is simple: be good, otherwise you will fall prey to the devil and end up dead and, worse yet, burning in hell.

Rare Halloween VHS Tapes

Throughout each set piece, patrons are led by a demonic tour guide, who continually encourages each teenager in the various scenes to do whatever awful deeds that are being depicted. Their only savior is to follow the word of God, and this all comes to a head when, during the final set piece, the viewer is subjected to a depiction of Moses discussing the importance of the Ten Commandments, which is then followed by a crucified Jesus, who makes a plea for all the patrons to not let his sacrifices go to waste. The presentation ends with the host going over the fact that after the teen patrons go through the Hell House, they can speak with counselors. Though, I feel confident that they aren’t the kind of counselors that these kids will need after experiencing such indoctrination. 

Christian Hell House 92 VHS Halloween

The entire special only runs about 15 minutes. However, and this is noted at the finish of the presentation, there are a handful of TV news reports featured after the fact, which is actually pretty fantastic for someone who loves old news footage concerning Halloween antics, especially with the bonus of it being focused on something as insane as a Christian Hell House. Unfortunately, with this being such a niche thing, info about the video and access to it is essentially nonexistent, which is exactly why my photos in this post are of the VHS playing on my TV. There are, however, numerous clips to be found featuring similar antics, one of which I will share below to give you a taste of the pure insanity that is a Christian Hell House.

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