October 25, 2006

Gibsonville Haunted House Aims to Frighten, Redeem


You could try making the joke about how the members of Harvest Baptist Church in Burlington are trying to scare the Hell out of you with their Christian-themed haunted house.

But theyve probably heard it before.

The Harvest Baptist folks are grizzled veterans of the hell house trade, which started at Jerry Falwells Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and has spread across the country. Their version is Scaremare, on Railroad Avenue in downtown Gibsonville.

And, though church members take its message seriously, its not quite as gruesome as other hell houses, which have become notorious for graphic images of aborted fetuses and other items.

We dont push Christianity through your throat, said church member Heather Clever, whos helped make Scaremare hip with a MySpace page and other forms of publicity.

The idea is to present various ways a person can die. Executions, electric chairs, gang violence and patients in a psych ward are all part of the experience __ along with some freak-you-out moments that are best left as surprises. The church puts those images in context in the last rooms of the haunted house, which depict heaven, hell and Christ on the cross.

Were trying, more or less, to face (Scaremare visitors) with real- life situations, said Tammy Jo Hurd, a church member who said shes participated in Scaremare for four or five years.

The juxtaposition of images makes people think, if theyre not too busy trying to catch their breath. Church members arent kidding about their desire to frighten visitors.

A lot of people they think its some kiddie thing, said Keith Hunter, one of the many church members who operate behind the scenes of Scaremare. Until they come down here.

And they do come. The wait to get in was up to an hour last Saturday night.

Contact Chris Coletta

at 226-3332 or [email protected] rockcreekrecord.com

(c) 2006 Greensboro News Record. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.