20 Things You’d Find In A Real Lesbian Haunted House

Jenny Clownface 2

When word spread about Toronto artists Allyson Mitchell’s mostly awesome lesbian feminist haunted house, “Kill Joy’s Kastle”, everyone here at Autostraddle was pretty psyched.

Read this description and tell me you don’t want to go here immediately:

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.”

Paper mache’d wombs and emasculation stations are great and all, but what if there were a haunted house that was just filled with a FUCKTON of things lesbians are terrified of?

Here’s our list of things you’d find in an actual, real-as-it-gets lesbian haunted house.

1. Stereo that only plays “True Affection” and “Parenthesis” by The Blow non-stop.

2. A soundproof room showing nothing but Two & A Half Men on one side and The Real L Word on the other, on several televisions stacked on top of one another.

3. Nothing but that one grainy hummus you hate.

4. Not even pita chips or carrots. Just that hummus.

5. Girls chasing you around with leases and a pen (that’s been gnawed on, because anxiety).

6. Jenny Schecter chasing you with a knife.

7. Jenny Schecter chasing you with more circus-based short fiction.

8. The sound, smell, and hair of dogs/cats, but no actual dogs/cats.

9. A room full of family members watching TV and saying homophobic things that you have to navigate your way through. You cannot go around.

10. Ilene Chaiken popping up everywhere and screaming, “I’M ILENE CHAIKEN, PRODUCER AND CREATOR OF SHOWTIMES’ HIT SERIES THE L WORD!!!”

11. The ghost of Dana Fairbanks.

12. And no sign of Mr. Piddles; the mystery remaining unsolved.

13. A room where everything is completely silent for hours, punctuated only briefly by the hopeful sound of an incoming G-Chat. But it’s not her. The G-Chat. It’s never her.

14. Actual bodies covered in the words of Jeanette Winterson from Written On The Body.

15. Gendered bathrooms and gendered bathrooms only.

16. Every mirror you look in instantly superimposing a photo of your ex next to you.

17. A room full of really, really long fingernails.

18. The Glee version of “Take Me Or Leave Me” playing on repeat through a dark tunnel of doom.

19. A hallway where Diva Cups are dumped on your head while “Closer To Fine” plays on a loop.

20. In order to get out of the house, you have to get past a frat boy standing in front of the door who will only move out of the way if you explain how lesbians have sex.

Have others to add to the list? We know you do. Comment away, friends.

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  1. Well, they’ve certainly got the transmisogyny and cissexism down, what with the “don’t trip over the severed penises” sign.

    I’m all for queer feminist haunted houses, but was it really necessary to include that sign? It seems to go against the idea of being a “lesbian-feminist, queer-fear-fighting celebration.”

  2. 22. A gaggle of cisgender, heterosexual female acquaintances determined to convince you that “they totally know what it’s like to come out ’cause they tell guys in clubs that they’re gay all the time so they stop flirting”.

    • Ahh!!!! Or like that time they told their parents that they were friends with you and you’re a lesbian and that doesn’t mean that they’re gay and they should oh my god they should totally stop being so close minded, it’s so embarrassing. But that was really difficult for me so like, I totes know what you’re going through babes.

    • You know, I’ve actually had men say to me, in response to stating that I am a lesbian (in said scenarios at bars or whatever), that “I didn’t have to lie, I could have just said I wasn’t interested instead of making up an excuse.” And then have them get angry at me.


      And I thought to myself, 1) why would I lie about that? and 2) do straight women really use that? Damn.

  3. 22. The “girl police” have an interrogation room. At least two of them will discuss your clothes, pronouns, self-identification and most importantly your hair ad nauseam while they decide whether to charge you with being too gay or not gay enough.

  4. 25. A parade of male suitors led by a well meaning relative that is certain you “just haven’t met the right guy”

    You walk down a corridor hearing an endless loop of “Remember Mark from down the street? He’s got an MBA. He drives a Lexus. He’s so charming.”

  5. i couldn’t care less for the semi-hipstery, belated PR efforts of the cult in question. Even if said ideology actually stimulates me in an artistic way (it is probably my single greatest inspiration to pick up creativity and crafts, specifically engraving – copyright Brother Proteus from Ultramarines), i don’t think that much of it in one place is good. Believe me, there really is such a thing as too much inspiration.

    AS take on it though – pure, hilarious win. Made more hilarious by myself being guilty of a few horrors on the list, like 2 1/2 Men and L word – and having suffered the existential despair brought upon me by others, like hummus.

  6. 26. Getting trapped in a room with only trans* characters created by IFC and Ryan Murphy, then
    27. Getting sucked into IFC’s plot hole vortex and
    28. Re-emerging into a dimension in which the change.org petition does not get 500 signatures

  7. 29. You meet a group of cissexist and trasphobic lesbian who try make you admit that you don’t exist.
    30. A group of really attractive, but fake bisexuals at the club just making real bisexuals and queer people look like a fake.

  8. 31. A Pleasantville-looking couple eerily waving in the window. They’ve brought you a casserole, they call your girlfriend your roommate and say they hope you don’t fall out over who gets the bigger bedroom. Two gorgeous girls like us, we must have the boys lining up to take us out on the town. Mr and Mrs Pleasantville think its good for us to be having our independence for a few years before settling down.

  9. 35. A room filled with all your parents friends and family members asking why you don’t have a boyfriend. Someone brings up homosexuality which leads to a scripture filled rant on why THE GAYS are ruining the world by existing and going on and on about why gay marriage is wrong.

    God, that freaked me out by just typing it.

    • As someone who lives in Kansas and has seen multiple WBC protests-my town is socially liberal and therefore godless and evil in their view-I have to say, the WBC in person are way underwhelming, to the point of being laughable. The “protests” I’ve seen are generally like a half dozen people, and no one pays them any mind.

      (Which isn’t to say that their rhetoric, their protesting of funerals, etc isn’t despicable because it totally is.)

  10. 37. Your mother comes to visit, lets herself in unannounced and walks in, seeing your bedroom at it’s post sex best – curtains drawn at midday, tangled sheets, dildo, harness, lube and any other sexcessories you would rather gnaw off your own foot than allow your mother to see are all scattered around the room, impossible to miss.

    You watch this unfold through a false mirror, unable to stop what is happening!

    I think I just gave myself nightmares.

  11. I admit, I’d go a bit darker with an exhibit like that:

    -The closeted high school teacher who avoids you like the plague when she figures out that you’re queer too.

    -Photos of the nieces and nephews you’ve never met, and videos of the family events you’ve haven’t been invited to.

    -The secretaries at the doctors’ offices who insist on entering your relationship with your partner as “friend”.

    -The office party that you attend eerily alone because your job might be in jeopardy if they see who you’re actually dating.

    -The thugs who throw bottles and shout “DYKE!” out the car window while you’re waiting for the bus.

    -The closet that isn’t safe to leave.

    Yep, I’d put darker things in my Lesbian Haunted House. But I’ve always been bad that way.

  12. 40. you’re trapped in a room with straight people who follow every thing you say with a statement along the likes of “Of course you’d say that, you’re a lesbian!”
    sr8 guy: “Pizza Hutt is he best!!!”
    lesbian: “Actually, I prefer Papa John’s.”
    sr8 peeps: “Duh! Of Course you’d say that. Everyone knows lesbians loooooove Papa John’s”
    lesbian: “*Face Palm*”

    • Once I lived in a house (full of male queers), with a cishet male in the attached granny flat. Once he found out i was queer (which initially blew his mind, I am ‘femme’), he said he should’ve known “because I have a leopard print bedspread”. I actually had pictures of suicide girls, & lesbian chic fashion ads etc up on my walls, but that is apparently what should’ve tipped him off ;).

  13. Honorable mentions:

    -misogynistic gay men grabbing your boobs and going “don’t worry I don’t want to sleep wit you”

    -drunk cishet white men in numbers that go “i’m a lesbian too, I love women”

    -those claw-like nails girls have been wearing lately


    -a ghost that follows you and your girlfriend that constantly says “Which one is the guy?”

    -white lesbians jumping in front of me and saying that they have to go through first in order for me to get my turn

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