Article by Sarah Joseph
The time of monsters, pumpkins, and candy was upon Roanoke College Halloween weekend. Accompanying this ghoul-ridden holiday was a haunted house in Augusta Hall, presented by the Northside Neighborhood Council and the Honors Program.
The house was a maze of unsettling scenes. Each group of five or less were given a single flashlight to guide their way through the dark rooms. The first thing one saw as they walked over the threshold of the house were strobe lights flashing. Loud music resonated through the house, overwhelming the visitors.
“Sensory overload was the concept of the haunted house,” said Sophomore and president of Northside Neighborhood Council, Chris Fenton.
In the first dark room there were zombies contorting their bodies in unnatural ways and haggling the visitors.These creatures guided the people up the stairs where, in one room, a person sat alone in a white room staring at a tv screen full of static, giving the appearance of spooky insanity. The next room was the bathroom which held two Bloody Mary’s.The last room on the second floor was a frightened ‘child’ huddled on top of her bed, rocking back and forth. She pointed and yelled at the floor as a ‘monster’ under her bed grabbed her doll.
On the ground floor there were goons jumping around on top of a bed and creating a mess.There was a room of a girl chained up on a table, all bloody, with two vampires preparing to suck her blood. As the visitors made their way to the basement, they could hear the screams of the girl and then thumping underneath stairs. In the basement, there was a doll room, an axe murderer room, and a spider room.
“For coming up with the rooms, I tried to think of some common fears, such as creepy dolls, the dark, etc, and also brought in classic halloween monsters like vampires, werewolves, etc.” said Junior, Anna Chamberlain. “I also had to think about the layout of the house and what was actually possible given the space we had.”
As a person experienced in theatre, Chamberlain guided each actor through their roles.
“[I gave] a general idea of what each character would be responsible for (jumping out of a closet, acting a particular way, etc),” she explained, “and [gave them] freedom to experiment themselves because a lot of your best acting performances come from playing off of the people around you, and the atmosphere created by a set.”
Chamberlain and Fenton both emphasized how the collaboration between Honors and Northside made the Haunted House possible.
“I’m really proud of how the event went, and proud all of the people involved. It honestly exceeded my expectations in every way,” said Chamberlain.
The students would agree, it seems. One visitor, Freshman, Abby Suplee, said,
“It was very intricate, and I was surprised that the actors were just students and not real actors.”
If you missed it this year, you’ll definitely have a chance next year, as the Haunted House will hopefully become a household item.