Naked and Scared Challenge Shut Down

This Halloween Pennsylvania’s Shocktoberfest Scream Park was set to debut the Naked and Scared nude haunted house challenge before the municipality shut it down.

This video from Inside the Magic shows a few early victims touring Shocktoberfest’s The Unknown haunted attraction in the buff for the Naked and Scared Challenge.

After watching an episode of Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid series, Shocktoberfest owner Patrick Konopelski was inspired to incorporate the idea into his annual Halloween attraction. Naked and Scared would challenge consenting adults to strip down and face the horrors inside the haunted house in the nude, completely unprotected and vulnerable.

The idea of haunted house participants baring it all obviously garnered a lot of attention, which seems to have made the small town of Sinking Spring, PA a bit nervous. They asked Shocktoberfest to reconsider.

Konopelski agreed this time around, and altered the challenge to offer the option of going through the haunted house in their underwear. The Naked and Scared challenge may return next year with full nudity.

The Naked and Scared Shocktoberfest haunted house challenge

Besides the fear of getting strange things in uncomfortable places, it looks like a great time. What do you think? Would you go naked through the dark and constricting passages of a haunted house?

Tell us in the comments below!

Jeweled Skeletons of Christian Saints

The new book Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs by Paul Koudounaris provide a rare look at the Europe’s jeweled skeletons of Christian saints.
Heavenly Bodies by Paul Koudounaris features photos of Europe's jeweled skeletons of Christian saints

In the 16th century the Protestant Reformation lead to the destruction of many religious images. Iconoclasm continued into the 17th century as Europe’s Catholic churches were stripped of their imagery and relics. When a labyrinth of underground tombs was found in Rome, the Vatican ordered that thousands of skeletons be exhumed from the catacombs and sent to towns throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Considering their burial, the remains most likely did not belong to anyone of religious significance. However, that did not stop the Church from giving them the names of Catholic saints and lavishly dressing them in gold and precious stones to remind the faithful of what awaited them in the afterlife.

Skeptics soon began to question the church’s outlandish claims, including the validity of the remains. In the 19th century an Italian archeologist determined the majority of the burials in the catacombs dated to after Christianity was legalized by Emperor Constantine in the year 313. This eliminated the possibility that the remains were of early Christians persecuted for their beliefs. The Church continued to reaffirm its claims to avoid scandal, but many of the “saints” were eventually sold off or boarded up and hidden from view.

The Vatican continued to unearth these remains and send them out to bolster faith for two centuries. Paul Koudounaris, author of Empire of Death, gained unprecedented access to these bizarre relics for his new book, revealing some for the first time ever in publication.

The jeweled remains of a Catacomb Saint from Heavenly Bodies

Heavenly Bodies is a fascinating glimpse into the history of the Catacomb Saints, including their exhumation and construction. Order it now right here.

Serial killer Rodney Alcala won The Dating Game in 1978

Rodney Alcala: Serial Killer Who Won The Dating Game

Serial killer Rodney Alcala had already killed at least several women by the time he won The Dating Game in 1978.

Madonna of the Rosary

While exploring resident Mad Taxidermist Rob Reysen’s old cow barn last year, we stumbled upon this antique religious picture. Thankfully, Rob managed to salvage it from the garbage pile for me.
Antique Madonna of the Rosary picture depicting the 15 Mysteries

After being assaulted by hordes of bulbous, black spiders from inside the cracks of the frame, Christina and I decided it might need to be cleaned up a little before we hang it on the wall.

The image depicts the Virgin Mary holding a baby Jesus with a rosary. Around it is a series of 15 scenes which we originally thought were meant to represent the Stations of the Cross. When we managed to extract the print from the frame, we realized it is numbered and the title is Madonna of the Rosary.

Madonna of the Rosary antique numbered print

Despite an interest in religious art and symbolism, as well as theology in general, I am not Catholic or even remotely religious. Much of the imagery was meaningless to me. I hit Google, using the title as the starting point. A little researched uncovered a somewhat similar print sold on Ebay. The listing described the smaller images to represent the 15 Mysteries of the Rosary, rather than the 14 Stations of the Cross.

Apparently the traditional 15 Mysteries of the Rosary are based on some long-standing custom by Pope Pius V from the 16th century. The mysteries are grouped into three sets: the Joyful mysteries, the Sorrowful mysteries, and the Glorious mysteries.

Joyful Mysteries

  • The Annunciation. Fruit of the Mystery: Humility
  • The Visitation. Fruit of the Mystery: Love of Neighbors
  • The Nativity. Fruit of the Mystery: Poverty (poor in spirit), Detachment from the things of the world, Contempt of Riches, Love of the Poor
  • The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Fruit of the Mystery: Purity, Obedience
  • The Finding of Jesus in the Temple. Fruit of the Mystery: True Wisdom and True Conversion, Piety, Joy of Finding Jesus

Sorrowful Mysteries

  • The Agony in the Garden. Fruit of the Mystery: Sorrow for Sin, Uniformity with the will of God
  • The Scourging at the Pillar. Fruit of the Mystery: Mortification, Purity
  • The Crowning with Thorns. Fruit of the Mystery: Contempt of the world, Courage
  • The Carrying of the Cross. Fruit of the Mystery: Patience
  • The Crucifixion. Fruit of the Mystery: Salvation, Forgiveness

Glorious Mysteries

  • The Resurrection. Fruit of the Mystery: Faith
  • The Ascension. Fruit of the Mystery: Hope and desire for ascension to Heaven
  • The Descent of the Holy Spirit. Fruit of the Mystery: Holy Wisdom to know the truth and share with everyone, Divine Charity, Worship of the Holy Spirit
  • The Assumption of Mary. Fruit of the Mystery: Grace of a Happy Death and True Devotion towards Mary
  • The Coronation of the Virgin. Fruit of the Mystery: Perseverance and Crown of Glory, Trust in Mary’s Intercession

Cleaning up the antique gold picture frame

The frame cleaned up nicely. It is in rough condition, as is the print, but that only adds to the creepy religious patina.

Inside Amityville: The Story Behind My Amityville Horror

Tony Brueski of Real Ghost Stories Online talks with filmmaker Eric Walter about the making of his documentary My Amityville Horror. The film explores the controversial story of The Amityville Horror from the perspective of Daniel Lutz, the oldest of the three Lutz.

In this interview, Walter discusses how he came into contact with Lutz, and how the 8 hour interview came to change his perception of the Amityville events.