The Controversy Over Guts Church’s The Nightmare


One of many frighting ghouls walk around the lobby.

Liam Carr , Staff Reporter

For the past 27 years, Guts Church has held one of Tulsa’s biggest Halloween attractions. Thousands of people, some as young as eight years old, walk through a haunted experience. Guts Church has a purpose for The Nightmare. They say that their intent is “to show real-life events that real people go through.” Although many see The Nightmare as fun and exciting, many question whether or not what the church does is ethical? Attractions in The Nightmare, range from walking through what appears to be hell with demons walking around, and being a part of a school shooting. 

Inside of the room before the school shooting part in Nightmare, they show on a display, real footage from the Sandy Hook and Columbine school shootings.

“I really did not think that the school shooting part was okay,” Senior Camden Barker said, “After you walk through a terrifying maze, they crowd you into a room where they have a video going on a TV. The video shows actual news footage of the Columbine School shooting, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. I got disturbed when they showed graves, with crosses marked with names. I don’t know if those were the names of some of the kids that were killed or if they were just B-footage. But if I was a relative to those kids I would not want to have the graves being shown at The Nightmare,” Barker said. 

Many people view The Nightmare as controversial. 

“So you walk through all these weird, creepy things which is what I expected, but then near the end they start to show these scenes with Jesus in them, being whipped and then nailed to the cross and then lastly they show him on the cross, as a message is going on through speakers.” Alumni Garret McDonald said. “Then we walk outside and there are tons of Guts church members who ask you if basically you are Christain or not. They tell you there is free hot chocolate but more members are standing in front of that and they ask you what church you go to? And that you should go to Guts.”

Barker thinks that The Nightmare is used mainly as a recruiting tool for Guts Church’s youth ministry.

“It seems like that’s what Guts aims for. They set up an attraction that people my age look for, and then afterward they literally swarm around you and ask multiple times what church do you go to? Well you should go to Guts is what they tell you,” said Camden Barker. 

Although many people enjoy the Nightmare, some view the scenes that they portray are quite disturbing and as some explained, have “gone too far.” If the Nightmare can bring one person to faith in Jesus Christ, however, then one might argue it was a worthwhile experience.