Haunted Houses: Behind the Screams


One of the greatest traditions of the Halloween season is visiting haunted houses, tapping into your fear, and having a great night with some friends. When I was in high school I was lucky enough to have an awesome seasonal job. I got to be an actor in a haunted house. While I worked there I had some of the best times of my life because I got to see people from all walks of life react differently to the fear they experienced in the haunted house.

Some of the best reactions I’ve witnessed included someone who peed their pants, a grown man jumping four feet backwards and running into the emergency exit, and people who have been so startled that they tried to run the wrong way through the house. It was an awesome job because I learned so much about how running a haunted house is about rehearsal for the actors. The design of the houses is made to confuse the patrons and the flashing lights and glow paint are made to disorient the audience. When I left work, it would take some time for my eyes to adjust to normal lighting and my ears were pounding from the blaring music but I had made unforgettable memories.

If all this has made you excited about attending a haunted house this fall, then look no further than the Penn State campus. If you have been here before you probably noticed the Forensic Science Club has a haunted house in a campus building each October. Last year the club used a prison theme for their house, and the year before they went with an insane asylum theme. Valley spoke with Matt Curran, the president of the club. He is in charge of planning the house and had a lot to say.

This year the theme of the house is serial killers. Each room will be inspired by a character like Jigsaw from Saw, or Jack the Ripper. The house will be running Thursday October 30th, Friday the 31st at 8pm, and Sunday November 2nd at 7pm. Its an exciting time for the club because all the members get to bond and they form so many memories by scaring fellow Penn Staters. Be sure to check out the house and make your own Penn State Halloween memories.


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