back to

Where the patriarchy goes to die


Two artists have created a radical feminist–themed haunted house in LA called KillJoy’s Kastle, and Pacific Standard has the scoop. Happy Halloween everyone!

More art installation than gory fright-fest, KillJoy’s Kastle is the brainchild of two Toronto-based artists, Deirdre Logue and Allyson Mitchell. The haunted house is their ode to radical lesbian feminism and the trope of the feminist killjoy—the mopy feminist shrew so often blamed for sucking the fun out of everything. KillJoy’s Kastle exaggerates such lazy stereotypes, literally demonizing their lesbian and feminist characters. Take the installation’s undead, emasculating “ball-busting butches,” or its zombified, gender studies-loving riot grrrls (or, in this case, “riot ghouls”). On the surface, it’s silly, satirical fun. But it’s also a cheeky slap in the face to the evangelical conservative right.

KillJoy’s Kastle is loosely modeled after radical evangelical haunted houses with a moralist, “come to Jesus” agenda. In a hell house, small groups are led by demon tour guides through re-enactments of the wages of society’s most deadly sins: A woman bleeding to death from a botched abortion and a funeral for a homosexual AIDS patient are two popular choices.

“In the case of the Christian hell house, they’re showing you examples of things that would send you to hell,” says Deirdre Logue. “But in our world, in a queer world, half of that is us.”

KillJoy’s Kastle favors perversion over conversion. With demon lesbians and demented women’s studies professors (one of them named “Leslie Dyke-March Assplay”) at the helm, visitors are taken through the “herstory” of radical lesbian feminism.

Image: The Graveyard of Dead Lesbian Ideas and Organizations. Via Pacific Standard.