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Las Vegas Review Journal/November 1, 1990
By Marcia Pledge
Las Vegans who went to the “Real haunted House” saw gruesome scenes typical of nay ordinary haunted house, but the end of the guided tour shocked people in a way they weren’t expecting.
The theme of the haunted house at 5243 W. Charleston Blvd. Was “Beyond the Grave.” The free event was held at the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship Church.
Although the haunted house included scenes of alcoholism, prostitution and drugs, the scene that upset a number of visitors was one that simulated an abortion.
In that scene, a woman is lying on a table screaming, “It is a baby, you’ve killed my baby!”
Barbara Humble, 30, said she was still furious a day after she went to the haunted house because the things she saw with her family had nothing to do with Halloween.
“They were trying to portray what hell would be like. I guess they were trying to save people, but that was a real sick way of doing it,” she said. “There were no ghosts, goblins, witches or pumpkins.”
Humble said her 6-year-old son had nightmares and when he was awakened, he had plenty of questions.
“He was saying, ‘Why did they keep saying that that girl killed her baby’ and then ‘Why did they look at you and way you killed your baby,'” the mother said. “I just told him, ‘You’re here. I didn’t kill you.’ He doesn’t know what an abortion is.”
Duane Rans, pastor of the non-denominational church, said the scene wasn’t meant to be a stand against abortion. It was just “one of many fruits of man’s sin.”
“It’s graphic and it does step on some toes. No one son can get you to hell, though. We’re trying to let people know that just going to any church won’t get them to heaven. There’s scenes of a nun in hell, a Jehovah’s Witness knocking on the door in hell, a Mormon on a bicycle and a person reading the Bible in hell,” he said.
“We’re not coming against any one church. What we’re trying to communicate is that church is not enough to get you to heaven. Just going to church isn’t enough either. Jesus says you must be born again.”
Rens said the haunted house started in Las Vegas in 1988, but news media didn’t report about them until May when a fundamentalist group from Prescott, Ariz., put on a haunted house at the same location.
Rens said there are about 800 Potter’s House Churches worldwide and seven in the Las Vegas area. One of the churches, at 600 E. Sunset Road, gave its first haunted house this year.
Rens said he advertised in the Review-Journal and with flyers and he intentionally left out what was in store for the haunted house attendees in the end. The haunted house ended its three-day run Wednesday night.
Rose Piro of Las Vegas said the haunted house techniques of trying to save people was a “real cheap shot.”
Piro said she and her husband took their three children ages 6, 9, and 11 because they expected a night of fun and thrills. Instead they left feeling upset, appalled and tricked.
“We went there on the guise of a haunted house, scares and thrills, not to be accosted by their beliefs about sin, hell and their right-to-life beliefs,” she said. “I didn’t see anyone come out laughing or saying it was great like they should have. It was terrible. I couldn’t believe what was happening.”