Frater Sodalis’ haunted house is back for Halloween…and back from the dead. The 31-year club tradition takes a turn for the zombie-pocalypse, a theme sure to scare you half to death.
As the longest-running haunted house in Abilene, planning for the club’s creepy annual event began at the beginning of September and members went to work on the haunted house property later that month.
This year Jon Churchill, senior psychology major from Abilene, was appointed the event fundraiser, putting him in charge of the theme, delegating and participating in the after-life attraction.
The haunted house theme changes each year, but this year Churchill said he designed the event to be very “zombie-heavy” due to the recent surge in popularity of zombie-related TV shows, movies and books.
“That doesn’t explain why it’s better, but it does show that year after year, people believe it to be superior and keep coming back,” Churchill said.
Josh Walters, senior exercise science major from Allen and member of Frater Sodalis, has been in charge of promoting the event and running the ticket sales and concessions.
“The night before Halloween and Halloween night is when we have our big turnouts,” he said. “This year we have had bigger turnouts each night, which has been awesome.”
The attraction opened over the Fall Break weekend and will reopen its haunted doors Wednesday night.
“Wednesday night will be our ACU Club Night,” Walters said. “Club members wearing some club attire and bringing a date will get in for five dollars each.”
A portion of the money collected during the Frater Sodalis’ fright nights will go to a charity. This year’s recipient has yet to be chosen, Churchill said. The rest will be set aside to fund club events throughout the year.
This year, Frater Sodalis sought to make the event even more collaborative by involving many different students of the ACU community.
“You’re coming to see your friends put on a show for you,” Churchill said. “We have students of all different classifications, in all different social clubs and involved in a range of different groups on campus helping act in our haunted house this year.”
Guests are assisted by a guide through the actual woods and made to walk across bridges to access the haunted island.
“The moonlit island in a secluded location is scary enough by itself,” Churchill said.
Mathew Solomon, junior information technology major from Austin, said this spooky location is key for the Frater Sodalis’ fear factor.
“It fits really well with the Haunted Island theme due to how the different rooms are on varying islands,” he said. “Overall, this place is just really creepy.”
Churchill agreed, saying the location makes it a haunt to remember.
“How scared can you really be in a haunted house that you can see the grocery store from if you peek your head over the fence?” he said. “Our haunted house is literally on an island in the middle of nowhere. And the zombies are really just icing on the cake.”