If you are looking for some way to engage your students around the cultural observance of Halloween in a few weeks, I strongly recommend the documentary "Hell House." This film follows one church's efforts to create a Christian version of a haunted house. What makes it Christian? Well, instead of ghosts and ghouls, we get a girl suffering through an abortion while taunted by demons, a gay man who dies of AIDS and goes to hell, a girl at a rave who takes drugs and is raped (her fault for being morally weak!) and on and on.
These "hell houses" are cropping up all over the country, most often sponsored by church youth groups who spend months preparing, building sets, making costumes and rehearsing their lines. All in the name of evangelism. The documentary lets the church folk tell their own story with no outside judgment or commentary by the filmmakers (though there is one really interesting scene where some local teens confront the youth minister on what they consider to be the intolerance inherent in the whole project).
I wonder that these hell houses are just an excuse for some Christians to have fun at Halloween while claiming they are not endorsing paganism and the occult. On the other hand, the participants seem genuinely convinced that this is an effective tool for bringing people to Christ. What a great conversation you could have with youth after watching this film, looking at issues of evangelism, thoughts on the afterlife, understandings of God in scripture (lover vs. judger), and the ways different churches understand the central focus of the Christian faith. Check out a useful review of the film here.
For more fun, check out this clip of every one's favorite cranky atheist, Richard Dawkins, interrogating a Colorado evangelical pastor about whether or not these hell houses are trying to scare people into "being good."