Photo by Yasir Alhumaidan
BY SHELBY LOOCK | NOVEMBER 15, 2015
Tricks, treats, and new traditions filled Marshall Hall the Thursday before Halloween as Edgewood kicked off its first ever Haunted House on the Hill.
More people than expected made their way through the haunted house tour on its debut night. Marshall Hall RA, Katie Rickert said she was shocked by the turnout. “136 people went through the haunted house. We had to turn about twenty people away because of our time frame.” She added that “the safe ride shuttle had the lowest number of riders for the school year that night.”
Haunted house visitors went through the tour in groups of three or four, but they were not left without entertainment while they waited for their group number to be called. The “Monster Mash” party in the lobby of Dominican Hall kept visitors busy with cookie decorating and pumpkin painting stations, and even rolls of toilet paper to turn people into mummies. The event was decorated with a colorful array of pumpkins, ghosts, and bats lining the walls. There were plenty of treats to go around: hot apple cider, caramel apples, and bowls of candy corn and chocolates.
“I knew the whole route, but when we did our test run I got so scared!” said tour group leader Idah Karonga.
At the entrance of the house was a bloodied skull and tomb stone. A butler welcomed haunted house goers in, and then ushered them toward the sound of circus music. They found themselves in a jack-in-the-box themed room, where a creepy clown popped out from the hallway and scared them all out into the horrors to come.
The house was filled with winding, darkened hallways, and ghosts and ghouls popped out from every direction.
Carsyn Soderstrom, a visitor of the haunted house says “it genuinely scared me, and I really enjoyed it.”
Before making it out of the house, visitors had to get past a zombie woman in a wedding dress, a creepy singing child with dolls hung from the ceiling around her, and a group of women leading a séance.
Rickert says the haunted house will now take place the Thursday before Halloween every year. She got the idea started when the Traditions Committee, which includes two RAs from every residence hall, brainstormed a “deck the halls” tradition for Christmas. They decided to take the idea and apply it to Halloween instead.
“Our goal was to get people from every residence hall to mingle, which they did at the Monster Mash in Dominican Hall,” said Rickert.
Those involved with putting the haunted house together included Residence Life Staff Holly McCrea and Megan Smith, RAs from each residence hall, some Marshall Hall residents and one UW student. Rickert said she had reached out to the theatre department in hopes that they would be willing to volunteer as actors. Due to a scheduling conflict, the theatre department was not able to collaborate with Residence Life, but Rickert hopes that in the future they will be able to work together on the event. Next year, the route of the haunted house will be different, and more people will be involved.
As for whether Marshall Hall truly is haunted, Rickert says, “that’s up for the individual to decide.”