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Religion of FearThe Politics of Horror in Conservative Evangelicalism$
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Jason C Bivins

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195340815

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340815.001.0001

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 “Shake ’Em to Wake ’Em”

 “Shake ’Em to Wake ’Em”

Hell Houses and the Conservative Evangelical Theater of Horror

Chapter:
(p.129) 5 “Shake ’Em to Wake ’Em”
Source:
Religion of Fear
Author(s):

Jason C. Bivins (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340815.003.0005

The subject of this chapter is the growing popularity of Christian alternatives to Halloween haunted houses. The most famous of these is Keenan Roberts's Hell House, a multiscene morality play that uses the techniques of horror entertainment to illustrate both a general and a specific narrative of social and political decline. These phenomena became very popular — attracting the attention of both supporters and critics — and explicitly engage the hot‐button political issues central to New Christian Right activism and organizing. Hell Houses' individual scenes illustrate to adolescents the harms (such as abortion, gay weddings, and school shootings) awaiting them in a society that — nominally committed to tolerance and social harmony — has unwittingly drawn them toward hellfire.

Keywords:   Hell House, Judgement House, Keenan Roberts, Tom Hudgins, Halloween, demonology, horror

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