Staff from Edwards Hall, Morris Hall and Smith-Adams teamed up this October to plan the annual Edwards Hall haunted house.
Around 250 students experienced the free haunted house Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Halloween weekend.
A student body favorite, this year’s theme was a haunted asylum. Throughout the month of October, RAs, RDs and SRAs from the participating halls gathered supplies, casted actors and created the story surrounding the haunted house, which they coined “Snyder Asylum.” Resident director of Edwards Hall Dakota Henry was just one of the people who helped orchestrate the event.
“One of the most innovative things about this is that it’s the first time we’ve ever partnered with multiple halls,” Henry said. “It really used to be just smaller in budget and in manpower, so having so many people I think has really made it a lot more exciting.”
Taking place on the third floor of Edwards, the Snyder Asylum experience allowed students to move between four separate dorm rooms staggered throughout the hall. One of the actors in the haunted hall served as a “tour guide” for each group, directing them in the right direction down the hall. Lighting, sound effects and costumes were used to bring everything to life. Before entering the hall, staff such as senior social work major from Hillsborough, North Carolina and SRA Marilyn Allen checked students in to the event.
“The gist of the asylum is that the patients kind of took over the place, and the students have to go in each room and find files because the files got messed up” Allen said. “You have to work together and find the files, and then while they’re finding the files, the patients are scaring them.”
On Monday evening, the haunted house opened at 7 p.m. – an hour early – due to popular demand. By 8 p.m., all of the slots for the evening were filled. Each hour, twelve groups of eight students were allowed admission, going through the hall one group at a time. In order to exit the hallway, students had to collect four patient files, one in each patient’s room. Residence director of Bullock Hall Erika Mince went through Snyder Asylum on Monday night. She had also attended last year’s haunted house.
“It definitely was scary,” Mince said. “This year I felt like there was more jump scares.”
A six-year-long tradition, the Edwards haunted house initially began as just a small component of a larger Edwards Halloween party. According to current Director of Residence Life for Staff Development Zach Snyder, it quickly became the most popular element of that party. Each year, the haunted house has continued to grow in size and scope.
“Now, it has turned into this thing that has taken over an entire floor and very much has a narrative that kind of ties the whole thing together,” Snyder said. “As long as we can keep finding a location, I plan that we will continue doing it.”