Churches don't often embrace Halloween in a manner that prompts them to clear out their sanctuary in order to build a haunted house -- but that is exactly what Park Lake Church in Sachse has done.
Sunday services have been relegated to the parking lot so that the 10-room horror show, dubbed Fear Factory, could be built. It is designed to bring people face-to-face with real-life fears -- culminating with an up-close meeting with Satan who, after ascending from a volcano, provides a tour through the agonies of an eternity spent in Hell.
More than 100 actors and participants from the church's congregation worked for the past three months to design and build the haunted house.
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"With months in the making, the set will blow your mind ... and the soundtrack is state of the art," said set designer and builder Mike Kurtz.
Kurtz explained that each room of the haunted house deals with one of the top 10 phobias people experience and has its own distinct and custom soundtrack to play into the madness.
For about 45 minutes, a brave group of souls will be led through different phobia-inducing environments, including the monster under the bed, a snake pit, a spider’s lair, and a claustrophobic maze where the walls, literally, close in around you. The tour, of course, culminates with a few minutes spent in Hell with Lucifer.
"There is a message at the end that gives hope delivered in a way that is unforgettable. When you meet Satan you wont forget him," said Kurtz.
The church rates the heart-pounding experience PG-13, though parents can allow those under 13 to attend with their consent.
Revelers can experience all of the above for $10 per person. Groups of 12 or more will pay $8 per person. A portion of the proceeds will be allocated to a Nicaraguan orphanage. For more information on the Nicaraguan ministry, visit www.missionarycoffee.com.
Tours will begin at 7 p.m. each night through Oct. 31. Call 972-414-0600 Ext. 10 for reservations. Park Lake Church is located at 3702 Sachse Road.