Whitis Court sets up haunted house

Sarah Lawson

[Corrected 3:16 p.m.: Changed number of attendees, sponsor of event]

Many students chose to stay on campus for Halloween weekend instead of hitting the downtown festivities.

Friday night, Whitis Court residents pulled together to create a six-chambered haunted mansion for about 270 students in their annual Halloween competition. The URHA and Whitis Court Residence Hall Council sponsored the event. 

Each section of Whitis Court had a different movie theme and included titles like “The Blair Witch Project,” “Saw,” “Drag Me To Hell,” “Insane Aslyum,” “The Surgery Room” and “The Exorcist.” Resident advisor Brady Atkins said Whitis residents hold this event every year and use Halloween as a unique opportunity to both entertain students and encourage them to have safe sex.

Atkins also said the haunted house offered an alternative for students who did not want to attend the downtown festivities.

He said the houses started setting up at around 2 p.m. and each room took about five to six hours to complete. Atkins said the residents were excited and the houses were competing with each other for the scariest number. Atkins said the materials used are typical things you can find at a local supermarket, like wire, fishnet, rope and string. Aside from the labor involved, the making of the haunted house required less planning than he expected, Atkins said.

“The room that I did was the torture room,” Atkins said. “We hung up wire and fish net. The people come in and see a girl getting tortured and then on the other side, drums start pounding and [residents] jump out.”

English senior Janie Samreth was one of the first people to emerge from the Whitis haunted mansion. Samreth said she liked the house and “The Exorcism” room.

“The creepiest part was the voice that was growling at the end and followed us out,” Samreth said.

Rudy Suar, environmental and water resources engineering graduate student, said he thought the unexpected movements were the scariest.

“I was walking through the Haunted House and then out popped a person,” Saur said. “It was so unexpected because I thought it was a prop. Then they’d come at you and you would be like ‘It’s not a prop, it’s a person.’”

Upon emerging from the Whitis haunted house, victims were offered their choice of free condoms, cookies and Dum Dum lollipops. Atkins said he was excited about the turnout and hopes students will practice safe sex this Halloween and year-round.

“Don’t be a Dum Dum, wear a condom,” Atkins said.