High School Haunted House Spreads Halloween Spirit
By Sarah Steele Wilson
Oct 22, 2012, 13:09
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Mary Jones, the parent who took the lead in planning the haunted house, also played one of its spooky denizens, leading tour groups through the halls on Saturday night.
With theatrical skulls, tombstones and coffins, the Hopewell High School cafeteria was transformed into a haunted house with a hallway filled with props meant to terrify. A little face paint, costumes and the element of surprise transformed students from the school’s theater classes, Beta Club, National Honor Society and cheerleading squad into a variety of monsters and goblins stalking the scene and leaping from behind the furniture.
It was the school’s first haunted house, and was put together by the Parent, Teacher, Student Organization to raise money for the After-Prom party in May.
“We’re trying to open up to the community, make it bigger and better, so that way we have a place for the kids to come, something fun for all the kids to do,” said Mary Jones, Vice President of the PTSO and the parent of a junior.
The PTSO spent about four months planning the event and two days setting it up.
“It’s a safe environement, a safe place that all of our parents here in the community can send all students from all of our schools,” said Sherry Leech. “This is actually available for elementary, middle and high school age, so we can set it up to a high intensity level and lower it down to where we don’t scare them so bad.”
Parents came up with the idea for the house and worked with students to set it up.
“This was kind of my idea, my baby,” Jones said. “I got everybody on board. Without the help of the parents and the staff here at the school, we couldn’t have gone as big as we’ve gone.”
The school’s haunted house, the only event of its kind in Hopewell, was a hit with community, with hundreds of people passing through.
“It was spooky,” said three year old Nevaeha Anderson, as she peeked out from the arms of Michelle Potter, who brought a group of attendees with her. “The vampire was creeping me out.”
As an adult, Potter was less scared by the event, but said it was a nice thing to do for the $3 charged for admission.
Lisa Forren wanted to see her daughter’s performance as one of the ghouls.
“I think it was very nicely put together,” Forren said after her trip through the haunted house. “It’s a nice little thing for the community.
She said her daughter, who is a senior, appeared to be having a good time.
“She was here last night ‘til late, stayed all day at school decorating,” Forren said. “It gets the kids together, helps them create memories that they’ll have 20, 30 years from now.”
Six-year-old Joshua Gorkiewicz and four-year-old Danzell Thorne Jr. both said they would both come again.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Joshua Gorkiewicz, Danzell Thorne, and Denzell Thorne Jr. prepare to enter the house, where they were beset by werewolves, vampires and other monsters.
“There’s some scary stuff and some not scary stuff,” said Gorkiewicz.
When asked what their favorite part was, Thorne answered without needing to pause for reflection.