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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Annual LOHS Theatre Haunt: Carnival of Nightmares

Scarlet Vandegrift

It was that time of the year again, where particularly haunting screams echoed through the clown infested halls of the LOHS auditorium, and every student should have been wary of vengeful scarecrows armed with chainsaws. Our annual Halloween Haunt was revived, and the Theatre Department was prepared to bring our campus the fright of its life. 

This was the 17 anniversary of the spectacularly spooky performance, and this year’s theme was “Carnival of Nightmares.” The price of admission was $10, and the event ran from October 5-7. 

This year’s attraction was based on a child’s worst nightmares, with different aspects of a carnival incorporated into a frightening maze. Also included were terrifying ghosts, mind-boggling optical illusions, and heart-stopping jumpscares; some of the most popular and scary rooms from previous years made their grand return. 

The anticipation before entering was almost the scariest part of it all, as every person was filled to the brim with excitement and anxiety before they faced the unforeseen horrors that lay ahead. Lily Burns, freshman, said that her favorite part of the Haunt was the start, and “by the end, I wasn’t as scared anymore.” 

You’re were immediately greeted by a young girl holding her teddy bear, as she skipped past and warned you of the dangers that lie within the maze. As you cautiously approached the dark hallway ahead, you could hear the screams of children within, as fog rolled in from behind you. 

Honestly, the entire walk-through was a blur, but overall The Haunt is an incredible, unforgettable experience. 

It took several weeks for the Theatre department to bring this especially spooky event together, as students and staff must practice their scares, build sets, and design costumes in preparation for the fright of their lives. 

Angeliene Chen, senior and member of the LOHS Theatre department, said “it was fun to find out what looks uneasy and what makes people more interested.” 

The Haunt is the main fundraiser for LOHS Theatre department for the year. An estimated 1,550 people went through the Haunt this year, making this fundraiser the second largest Haunt in LOHS Haunt history. 

The Haunt’s production was split into two parts: set building and acting. A large component of the Haunt was the actual maze, and amazingly the set for the Haunt was crafted by student hands. Two weeks of construction in Mr. Shorts’ Theatre Teach Class occurred, and a week was set aside for the actors to figure out appropriate jumpscares and meet their fellow crew. 

I was able to perform in the Scarecrow Room and had the time of my life! So many other actors in the Haunt would agree without a second thought. 

In all, 16 rooms made up the entire maze, with additional “boo boxes” where actors performed jumpscares on audience members. Countless flats constructed the walls of the Haunt and surprisingly enough, although the maze seemed long in length, the Haunt remained on the stage in the theatre. 

On Monday, October 2, actors arrived in the theatre after school where an informational meeting was held. The following day, rooms were chosen and roles were assigned, and by Wednesday of that week, a dress rehearsal was held for interested LOHS staff. 

On “performance days”, the actors, crew, and chaperones arrived at six p.m. to prepare for the Haunt. All make-up was done by students or alumni, and all costumes were either provided by the Theatre Department or came from the closets of actors in the Haunt. 

The maze was set up systematically and, fortunately, actors were not performing for the entire extent of three hours per night – nine hours in total. Students would listen to certain cues and prepare when the audience was close enough in the maze. A cue could be a certain scrape on one of the walls, a familiar scream from each audience, or when an actor pounded on a wall for a scare. Thanks to all the actors and their jumpscares, the Haunt ran smoothly and was easy on everyone! Another big thank you to all chaperones who prioritized the safety of audience members and actors, and to every student of Shorts’ Theatre Teach class who built the amazing maze of the Haunt. 

The Haunt is definitely one major highlight for the LOHS community, always a joy to audience members, actors, technicians, and chaperones. With a stunning set, amazing cast of performers, wonderful crew of chaperones to ensure safety, and a fun audience, it is clear everyone looks forward to the Haunt each October. 

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