So it's that time of year again folks. Halloween is fast approaching. It's the time of year where I usually see a few kids who have gone, or been taken to so-called "Hell Houses". For those of you who don't know, Hell Houses are kind of like haunted houses, except that they claim to provide a realistic depiction of hell. They also claim that providing this experience to kids and teens helps them to be better Christians and to have some understanding of why they shouldn't risk going to hell.
Let me pause here for a moment and just say that this post is not an attack on any religion or any religious denomination. It's an attack on terrifying children into thinking that they or those they love could burn in hell for eternity. Not a good thing to do peeps. Now... maybe you're a firm believer in hell and you want to help your children to make decisions that will ensure they don't end up there. Fine.. just talk to them... share your concerns... help lift them up and give them hope.
Taking kids to a "Hell House" is traumatizing. Trust me. I've seen kids in therapy who, after visiting a "Hell House", became utterly convinced that they were going to hell. I've seen kids who visited these places who couldn't stop constantly monitoring their thoughts for fear they might think something that would get them sent to hell. I've seen kids with recurrent nightmares and burgeoning anxiety disorders brought on or exacerbated by, in large part, by the "Hell House" experience.
It's one thing to take a kid to a haunted house filled with witches, ghouls, and goblins which you and most other adults tell them are completely fake. It's something entirely different to take them to a place filled with demons and hell-fire and tell them it's entirely real... even if you believe it is.
Think about it.