Halloween Haunted House: students gather for screams


Erin Brown

Freshman interactive arts & media major Victoria Zeilenga portrayed Joyce Byers from the hit Netflix series “Strangers Things” at the Oct. 27 “Wicked Week” haunted house in the 916 S. Wabash Ave. Building.  

By Campus Editor

Freshman theatre major Carly Davis sat in a makeshift makeup room while a student turned her into a dead nurse. Twenty minutes later, Davis lay on the floor, covered with fake blood, ready to terrify students.

When an event organizer shouted, “Actors, we need you in places!,” students got into character  for the fourth annual “Wicked Week: Haunted House”Oct. 27 in the 916 S. Wabash Ave. Building, ready to scare. This was one event in Columbia’s Halloween week celebrations, according to Sarah Shaaban, director of Student Organizations and Leadership,  dean of students and haunted house organizer.

“It started with this idea of wanting to create a space where students can experiment with some of the skills that they have learned in their classrooms,” Shaaban said. 

Shaaban added that 10 student organizations, including the Student Government Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the MU FX Makeup Special Effects club, collaborated for two months to create the rooms and to bring the community together for Halloween.

For her, the best place to see if they accomplished their goals is at the house’s exit. 

“The faces of students when they come out terrified [are] exciting because we know we did our job,” Shaaban said.

Haunted house tour guides ushered students through the multi-themed rooms where they encountered scary TV and movie characters such as Eleven from the Netflix series “Stranger Things” and Samara from “The Ring.” 

Davis said she hoped attendees would be surprised after seeing her “dead” body on the floor. 

“[Haunted houses] scare me too much to go through, but [I thought] being a part of it would be a lot of fun,” Davis added.

Loud screams could be heard as soon as students entered the transformed rooms as other characters including a fake blood-covered pig holding a saw, a morph creature dressed in black spandex, zombies and dolls terrified students.

 An empty wheelchair, a mirror splattered with fake blood and a bucket with fake amputated feet set the scene. 

When freshman creative writing major Jay Rodriguez exited the house, she could barely remember what had happened, she said. 

“Part of it was irrational fear because [actors couldn’t touch us], but you just keep moving,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t remember, but it was scary.”