It's no big secret. I hate haunted houses. Ever since the moment that some gory ghoul grabbed my leg my freshman year of college, I have rarely stepped foot in one. The sound of a chainsaw revved to startle me simply isn't how I like to get my kicks. I begrudge no one who enjoys them. It simply isn't my cup of tea.
Several years ago, while I was still working in campus & young adult ministry, a thought came to mind. We spend so much time and money trying to scare the daylights out of each other at Halloween. Couldn't we use that same passion to turn the focus from darkness to matters more holy without sacrificing the "fun?"
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Enter in the concept of a Hallowed House in contrast to a haunted house. If we want gory stories, we have more than enough in the litany of Saints! Our martyrs didn't die pretty deaths, so why not learn about our brothers and sisters who gave their lives for the glory of God while we try to scare one another silly? Here are twelve saints to turn to for inspiration. Call them Gory Glory Stories, if you will. (These can be as grotesque as you'd like to make them based on your audience.)
Want a botched beheading? Bring in St. Cecilia!
Want a head on a platter? How about St. John the Baptist?
Botched burning at the stake, leading to a beheading? There's always St. Agnes!
How about a saint shot with arrows who then lost his head? St. Edmund's, your man!
While we are in the realm of archery, St. Sebastian lived through being target practice only to be beaten and thrown into the sewers. Yikes!
For a holy bonfire, there are always St. Joan of Arc and St. Lawrence who were burned at the stake.
Even wild horses couldn't keep St. Hippolytus from proclaiming the glory of God. They could (and did) however, tear him apart at the limbs. Ouch.
St. Ignatius of Antioch was eaten by lions in the Coliseum.
Breasts on a platter? I'm not talking about chicken - poor St. Agatha of Sicily!
Want to tan a hide? St. Bartholomew is said to have been flayed and then beheaded.
How about some eyes on a platter? St. Lucy was said to have her eyes gouged before being martyred.
These saints leave us many options for a hallowed house that could rival any haunted house around! Bonus? You'll learn about the courage and strength of men and women who held tight to their faith in Christ!
What saints would you add to this list?
Copyright 2016 Rakhi McCormick
About the Author
Rakhi is a Catholic wife and mother who works in parish communications part-time while trying to keep up with her husband, three young children, and a growing creative business. She is a convert from Hinduism and spent many years working in young adult and campus ministry. Rakhi’s blog and artwork can be found at The Pitter Patter Diaries, where her mission is to share the love of Christ with the world.