While fantasy Halloween horrors await brave souls who attend other haunted houses, area churches are offering a different sort of fall program this weekend at Judgement House. This seven-scene walk-through drama promises "Real people, real choices (and) real consequences," with characters going to heaven or hell.
The program will be held from 6-10 p.m. Friday, 5-10 p.m. Saturday and 12:30-6 p.m. Sunday at Great Bend Church of the Nazarene, 4811 Broadway. A $3 donation is requested. Walk-ins are welcome, but time slots may be reserved for groups of 12 or more and out-of-town guests, said program volunteer Sherry Pruter. The program takes about 45 minutes.
This may not be a typical haunted house, but it can be frightening for small children, and it also deals with real-life issues including loneliness, rejection and suicide, Pruter said. "We don’t recommend it for children under 10." The message is that words have power, and what we say has consequences, in this life and the next.
The national Judgement House organization was established in 1983 by New Creation Evangelism Inc., in Clearwater, Fla., as an evangelical tool, "presenting people with an opportunity to choose a personal and saving relationship with Jesus Christ." It offers several different scripts, so the play is different each year.
Several area churches assist, providing actors, traffic control and security. As people exit the final scene, the Rev. Amy Foster from the Church of the Nazarene will give an invitation, and more volunteers will be on hand as encouragers to provide Christian counsel, Pruter said.
In the first four years that the church has sponsored Judgement House, 3,877 people have attended. According to numbers provided by the sponsors, there have been 327 salvations and 403 recommitments.