NO LONGER IN OPERATION
Halloween Theatrical Production
Former Location: 385 La Cienaga Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90048
Hollywood Hell House haunted Los Angeles for two Halloween seasons, in 2006 and 2007. After going on hiatus in 2008, it promised to return in 2009, which never materialized.
Hollywood Hell House Information
Hollywood Hell House was not a typical haunted house but rather a satirical theatrical production, based on the infamous fundamentalist alternative* to traditional Halloween haunts, designed to teach “young people that they can go to hell for abortion, adultery, homosexuality, drinking, and other things unless they repent and end the behavior.” Keenan Roberts, who began presenting the real Hell House in 1992, sells Hell House Outreach kits to other churches, including a 263-page manual - which was the basis for the West Hollywood version.
It goes without that the West Hollywood presentation played the material for laughs. After walking through the haunt guests were invited to hang out for a dance party with DJ Davey Save, with “bands, dancing, and praising till midnight." This provided an opportunity for guests to discuss the evening's experience and for the show's producers to offer disclaimers to the effect that they were targeting fundamentalism and fanaticism, not religion per se.
As a gimmick, Hollywood Hell House featured celebrity guest stars from time to time, including everyone from Kato Kaelin as Jesus to Dave Thomas, Andy Richter, Bill Maher, Penn Jillette, Larry Miller, and Patton Oswalt as the Devil. You can view a montage of Satanic guest starts at the top of this page.
*The authentic "Hell House" concept was featured in a 2001 documentary by George Ratliff. Whatever one thinks of the message presented by these attractions, they seem genuinely creepy. It's unfortunately that Hollywood Hell House no longer exists to satisfy the curiosity of Los Angeles haunt-seekers who would like to experience a Hell House in person.
Hollywood Hell House Influence
In retrospect, Hollywood Hell House clearly foreshadowed later immersive theatrical haunts in Los Angeles, such as the Theatre 68 Haunted House, Wicked Lit Halloween Theatre Festival, and Delusion Interactive Theatre. Instead of a fun house made up of haunted flats, Hollywood Hell House was set in a real location (an abandoned Acapulco restaurant). Audiences were led by a guide through a series of dramatic vignettes, each illustrating a sin leading its perpetrator to Hell.
In effect, the event was an anthology of short plays strung together on the theme of damnation and redemption - albeit presented satirically. The horror, such as it was, emerged not from lurking monsters delivering jump-scares but from the unfolding of the stories (a young woman committing suicide after being date raped at a rave party), seen up close and personal, without the distancing effect of a proscenium arch. There was even an interactive element near the end when the audience, having seen numerous sinners sent to eternal punishment, were given an opportunity to meet Jesus, confront the Devil, and decide whether their names would be written in the Book of Eternal Life.
Hollywood Hell House Articles
Learn more in the Hollywood Hell House Archive...