Church ‘Hell House’ Kits Expose Children to Extreme Anti-Gay Rhetoric

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has released a report called “Homophobia at ‘Hell House’: Literally Demonizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth,” which examines the “hell houses” used by churches nationwide around Halloween. Many churches use elaborate kits sold by Denver pastor Keenan Roberts, which come with props and very specific scripts designed to scare children as young as 10 on issues such as abortion and homosexuality.

Scene from hell house

From the NGLTF report, which emphasizes the impact of these performances on harassment and violence against gay and lesbian youth:

Another scene portrays a marriage between two men. The script calls for a young heterosexual married couple to act out this scene. “The wife dons masculine make-up for the necessary male look,” the Hell House Web site instructs. The demon performing the ceremony harasses them during their vows, asking, “Do you solemnly swear to never believe that you’re normal?” The demon also pronounces that the couple is “burning in a repulsive lust for one another, deceived by the world that they’ve been born gay, [and] are joining their deeply confused lives in this deeply nauseating matrimony.” The Hell House Web site explains to potential buyers that purchasing this script “will give you another powerful weapon in your arsenal against the homosexual stronghold and the born-gay deception.”

Another room is a mock emergency room, where one of the men from the wedding scene is on his deathbed. He cries out that he does not want to die and go to hell. “This is Steve,” the demon says. “He thought his homosexual lifestyle was everything a real man could want, but now he’s dying of AIDS.” Toward the end of the Hell House tour, participants are led through “hell,” where Steve is writhing in pain among other “sinners.” The demon laughs maniacally at Steve, shouting “AIDS! You fool! Ha ha!” over and over again as he stresses that Steve is separated from God forever.