Hell Houses — wack-ass haunted houses where instead of awesome ghouls and goblins attacking you with chainsaws, you are subjected to scenes depicting abortion and teen suicide intended to "lure people to Jesus" — are extremely dumb. In response, Toronto artist Allyson Mitchell created Kill Joy’s Castle, a lesbian feminist haunted house with terrifying rooms like THE EMASCULATOR and LESBIANS RULE.
“Each Hallowe’en radical evangelical groups all over the USA and Canada build hell houses. Beginning in the 70’s, these performer-animated installations showcase a gruesome retribution for the sins of fornication, abortion, suicide, occultism, and— of course—same-sex relationships. This Hallowe’en Toronto artist Allyson Mitchell reclaims this hellish scenario with her crowd-sourced, lesbian-feminist, queer-fear-fighting celebration Kill Joy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House located at 1302 Queen Street West, Toronto.
Wrapping this American Gothic Hell House tradition with yard upon illustrated, elaborately decorated yard of spirited craft aesthetic, Mitchell mobilizes her “deep lez” commitment to radical queer world-making potential. Through it, she conjures new kinds of representations of feminist sexuality and queer concepts of community and activism.
Rug-hooked, crocheted, and paper maché’d constructions are womb-like wonders for visitations of the undead lesbian community, who are hell-bent on remaining nightmarishly non-assimilated. Casting the spells of freaky feminist skill sharing and paranormal consciousness raising together with ghouls, bio-engineered monsters, indoctrinators, and avengers, this hell house is designed to pervert, not convert.”
Awesome! So ditch those crucifixes and get ready to scream as you wander through rooms filled with sea sponges and used diva cups. BOO! (Also, road trip??)