Haunted house will be up and running on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 5:00-10:00 p.m. with a Crooked Fairytale theme. There are two levels of scare – green and red.
Green level is recommended for ages six and up, while red level is recommended for ages 13 and up. Anyone under 13 wanting to go through red level must have their parents’ permission. The course of red level continues for twice the time that green level does, and has a higher scare intensity.
“I would say go through both because there’s an ending on green level you won’t get to see if you just go through red level. So, you’ll miss that ending and a lot of people do like to go through both just to get the full experience,” technical theatre teacher Megan Thompson said. “And we’ve had 6-year-olds with their parents go through red level very successfully, and we’ve had 14-year-olds that ‘nope’ on a green, so it happens.”
Tickets cost $10 for green level and $15 for red level and will be sold at the door in the cafeteria on a first come, first serve basis. But, each individual that brings three cans of food to donate to the San Antonio Food Bank will get $3 discounted off their ticket.
“Expect your favorite fairy tales to be turned around on their head. So don’t expect that everything’s going to go the way you remember or anticipate. It’s going to change,” Thompson said. “And do know, we aim to scare. This is not your ‘oh, how cute little’ haunted house. We want to terrify you, we want to disgust you, we want to just really frighten you. And we have people run out of our haunted house crying every year.”
Tickets are bought at the door and stop selling at around 9:30-9:45. There is a 20-30 minute wait before haunted house, but booths will be set up to sell things and provide information. Arriving at the beginning of the night will guarantee a ticket, as tickets may be sold out closer to the end.
“If I wasn’t a theatre teacher, I would be a haunter. So, I brought the idea from my other position to here and basically told the students at the time, ‘listen, I would love to do this, but we already have two fall shows, so it has to be entirely student-led,’” Thompson said. “We did the whole I think this is why we should do it, and he said okay and it went very well, so it’s been tradition ever since.”
Nearly 100 students work to put it all together, with actors and crews rehearsing weeks in advance. Middle schoolers are also involved in the production. Everyone meets the day before the event to start setting up.
“We basically get everyone and we get a lot of tarp and we tarp up all of the walls. We get all the rooms sort of empty. We start to move in the big set pieces and props and everything until 9:00,” senior and Event Coordinator Gianna Michaud said. “And then once it hits 9:00, we just kind of like leave everything, and we come back the next morning and finish up everything, make sure it’s good. And then when it’s time for haunted house, we do one final little run through and then everyone goes through.”
The haunted house will have jumpscares, special effects, loud noises, and even some sparks. For families wanting to experience the haunted house but have younger kids will have the option for childcare crew to supervise them. Coloring and crafts will be provided in the library.
“We have all of our actors that are really excited about doing haunted house, and we have our next rehearsal coming up in two weeks. We have costumes. We get to finally start seeing it come together,” senior and Event Coordinator Maricela Ramirez said. “I’d say we’re pretty excited about it. Of course, there’s a little nerves because we’re running it this year. But, overall, I think it’s going to be a really cool experience.”
Michaud and Ramirez describe themselves as ‘damage control,’ and are responsible for keeping the vision in focus and making sure the haunted house is running smoothly.
“I’m just really proud of these two, because they have taken it and run with it, and it is completely student-led. I mean, of course, Mr. Asterman and I advise, but we don’t run auditions, we don’t assign crews, we don’t cast it, we aren’t in charge of making sure it all works,” Thompson said. “And they’ve been knocking it out of the park. They’ve really been taking what we’ve come up with and making sure it works and making sure it’s efficient, and I feel very secure. I feel like it’s going to go really well.”