Walla Walla gets scary for Halloween weekend

by Andrea Miller
WHITMAN COLLEGE PIONEER

North Haunted House

Roaring chainsaws, an inverted William Shatner mask famously known as the face of Michael Myers and a jaunty but horrifying clown—these are the bare essentials for all entertainment but especially entertainment in the forms of haunted houses or corn mazes.

The annual North Hall Haunted Hospital opened its doors for just three hours on the night of Oct. 28. Admission was a suggested donation of $3 or cans of food, the proceeds from which are going to Save Wonderful Animals Team (S.W.A.T.) and Helpline.

S.W.A.T. is a program that provides animals with foster home care instead of the standard shelter care; the program relies on “volunteers [to] coordinate local resources to take care of immediate/emergency crises.” Helpline provides the community with emergency social services.

According to junior Jesse Lord, RA of North Hall, there were 50 to 60 people involved in the haunting, including tour guides. Lord said that the number of actors who came to help pleased him.

According to Lord, group leaders organized plans for a theme of each floor; the fourth floor was the burn unit, the third was the delivery/operating room, the second was the psychiatric ward, and the basement held the gory kitchen and a funeral procession.

“Gore is really important in everyone’s life,” said junior Kate Rosenberg, an actor for the Haunted Hospital. Rosenberg and a motley crew of friends cooked up shock and fear in the Gory Kitchen.

On the menu for the evening: Rosenberg intended to give the visitors’ “tear ducts some exercise.” She said it was necessary to have the “morbid on your mind for a solid three days prior” to the hours spent shocking and frightening visitors in the hospital.

Rosenberg said she counted “on the inspiration of the divine” to help her be the goriest kitchen cook possible.

Walla Walla Corn Maze

The Walla Walla Corn Maze opened its stalks in the middle of September and remained open for business through Halloween Day.

From Oct. 26 to 31, the maze was “scary.” Admittance to the maze cost visitors $6 and possibly their voices if they were prone to screaming in frightening situations. During the scary session of the maze, there were about 15 to 20 people lurking in the corn stalks frightening maze-goers.

According to the concession staff, it takes one week to stake and cut the maze. Someone creates a design, draws it on graph paper, stakes it out in the field and cuts the pattern out on riding mowers when the corn is about knee high.

Juniors Katie Avery and Hayley Hillman said that it took them and their friends about 45 minutes to find their way through the maze. Avery noted the difficulty in navigating a successful path because “it was hard to stay focused on the maze and what was coming next.”

The large numbers of people apparently detracted from the intended fear of the ghouls in the corn. Junior Beth David said that “the fact that it was so crowded made it not as scary.”

Junior Kramer Phillips claimed he “was brave, so [he] was not scared,” but friends recalled him jumping five feet into the air and screaming as a man behind bars greeted him and also heard him squealing in a high-pitched voice “Where’s my group?!” after having escaped Michael Myers.

The cruxes of the maze were back-to-back encounters with Jason with his chainsaw and Michael Myers with his enormous knife.

The sounds of the chainsaw roaring over the synthesized version of the Michael Myers theme were more than enough to completely frighten any visitor. (Except for the twelve-year-old who whined, “This sucks.”)

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