Haunted Mansion gives students a scare

Career and Leadership Development holds first-ever event

By Kimberly Wethal

When Haley Tyrrell decided to attend the Haunted Mansion last Saturday night in the University Center, she was expecting a predictable college haunted house, one that wasn’t really all that scary.

She got the exact opposite instead.

“It was terrifying, actually,” Tyrrell said. “With these [haunted mansion actors], you don’t even know when they’re going to come out. There were ones that were hiding behind the walls that would just pound right into you, and when they screamed in your ear, they made you scream yourself.”

The Haunted Mansion, a first-year event, was hosted by Career and Leadership Development (CLD) and was started to be “fun and different for Halloween,” said junior Jessica Faust, one of the event’s organizers. 

A Second Salem Paranormal Investigation Team member lurks in the hallways of the haunted mansion.

A Second Salem Paranormal Investigation Team member lurks in the hallways of the haunted mansion. Photo by Kimberly Wethal.

The first hour of the four-hour event was PG, but the rest of the time, scarers were allowed to jump out at those in attendance. The idea behind having a PG version at the start of the event was so students could bring younger family members to let them have fun as well.

Faust said that anyone in attendance should have prepared to be frightened, seeing that she went through it before anyone else was in there and was terrified.

“They’re going to be scared,” Faust said at the beginning of the event. “For the PG [version], there’s no touching [of patrons by scarers] but there’s still some things hanging down, so it’s pretty scary.”

The setup of the haunted mansion was done by an outside entertainment company called Simplified Entertainment, which brings the haunted mansion to a location and only requires an event to have a minimum of ten of their own scarers.


Props such as demonic baby dolls could be just as terrifying as the human scarers. Photo by Kimberly Wethal.

The Second Salem Paranormal Investigation Team (SSPIT), formerly known as the Second Salem Spooks, assisted with the Haunted Mansion as the scarers inside the event.

For SSPIT team members, being on the other side of the scare for once gave them a different perspective than usual.

“We get scared sometimes, so I think it’s cool to in turn scare people,” said Libby Huggett, SSPIT member. “I think that’s really exciting.”

The structure of the haunted mansion itself consisted of a plastic tent-like structure, with walls inside that allowed those looking for a scare to weave their way through narrow corridors from room to room, where members of the SSPIT were waiting in costume.

“It’s cool, since I’ve never seen a travelling haunted house before,” Huggett said. “It was cool to see how effective it was. You don’t notice the vinyl walls.”


A scarer reaches out towards the camera through layers of white streamers. Photo by Kimberly Wethal.

Rooms consisted of a combination of a child’s nursery and a surgery room, rooms full of fake dead bodies wrapped up like mummies and plenty of rooms that doubled as hallways, with neon strings lit by black lights or thick layers of white streamers hanging down, making it sometimes hard to see while walking through.

When walking through, one could expect to meet their fair-share of SSPIT members disguised as clowns and characters in masks or heavy face paint with dark black cloaks.

The scarers from SSPIT inside the haunted mansion really got to freshman Samantha Polize.

“It was really scary,” she said. “Every time I went around a corner, I almost had a heart attack … I cannot handle that.”

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