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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Letter to the Editor
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Nightmare a reality check

As Halloween draws closer, many Valley residents flock to haunted houses for entertainment and bloodcurdling fun. Many attend these places to be spooked or to be confronted with their fears. Nightmare, a “Reality House” run by Cornerstone Church, is located in downtown Fresno.

Walking through Nightmare, a visitor is presented with visualizations of troubles in today’s world, such as drunk driving, gang fights, suicide, abusive parents, and drug abuse.

According to organizers, all of Nightmare’s “victims” are volunteers from around Fresno. Among the veteran volunteers is campus student Greg Tharpe, ?04, who has made the shift from crack house to gang scene this year.

“I have worked at Nightmare for two years because I see a need for this type of evangelism in the Valley,” Tharpe said. “I also like acting and can use it as a training tool.”

In addition to being presented with gory spectacles depicting horrific injuries to young people, visitors are also taken to a pretend Hell via a shaky elevator. Later, however, they are shown the crucifixion and rise of Christ.

“I thought the scene where Jesus was being tortured and was hanging on the cross was really touching,” Nate King, ’05, said. “It really made me realize again that Christ went through a lot of suffering to die for us.”

According to Pastor Rudy Reyna, of Cornerstone Church and Nightmare lead organizer, the purpose of Nightmare is not to terrify but to inspire the saved and the lost alike.

“Some people will start crying and sometimes fall at different scenes. They will look at a scene and realize that is their dilemma,” Reyna said. “For non-Christians the most touching part of the reality house is the domestic violence and suicide, for believers it is the scene where Jesus is being whipped and for old people the scenes of the crack house and gang fight seem to be the hardest because they have never seen them before.”

For others, Nightmare was not just a glimpse of some people’s reality but a very terrifying experience.

“I was so scared at Nightmare,” Morgan Rigby, ’04, said. ” Especially when I had to walk across a bridge with a grave underneath me. While walking across there were dead people grabbing my feet, so I stepped on their hands.”

Nightmare took very real tragic events and transformed them into a spooky reality house to warn people, but many commented that they would rather have not seen many things that were shown at the haunted events.

“Towards the end of the house there was a man behind bars who was eating another man who was hung by a noose,” Michelle Smith, ’04, said. “Then I walked into a room that was completely covered with dots. I looked to my right and there was a man looking at me that was covered with dots also.”

For more information on a night at the Reality House, call 442-0122. The cost is $7 and this event is open Fri-Sun. through Oct. 31.

“Students should go to this event because they will see things they will not see in real life,” Michael Abajian, ?04, said. “People are forced to confront horrifying situations and potential problems.”

Most attendants find a common thread of freakish and petrifying experiences, but Nightmare is not the only place to get your gore fix this Halloween season.

For information on Satterstrom’s Haunted Forest hayride and house in Selma, call 897-3685. The cost is $25 for three activities that are also open through October 31.

Additionally, there is a Clovis Area Recreation Haunted House on 3495 Clovis Avenue. The Haunted House will run from October 25-28. For more information call 324-2780.

If you are looking for any other additional activities to fill up your Halloween schedule, go to

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