The Student Activities Board and Boom Roasted Productions held their annual haunted tour of Wilson Hall on Oct 30th.
The tour’s theme this year was “Into the Woods,” a different theme than last year’s carnival theme. The groups of approximately ten students, got a battery-operated candlestick to start their journey into Wilson Hall.
The tour started outside in Erlanger Gardens with a walk down an elaborately decorated and terrifying path into Wilson Hall. On the path were students dressed as various animals who would surprise students and roar or growl loudly in their faces. Also, there were bloody students screaming for help and crawling up the stairs leading to the Hall.
Once students got through the haunted Erlanger Gardens, they were received by greeters who then directed them into the holding room (the Pompeii room) before the real tour started. The holding room had sweets and candy for students to indulge in, and some fantastic Halloween décor to enjoy before their chilling tour of Wilson Hall.
Once the previous group was finished, the next group was moved from the holding room into a room in which a spine-chilling video was shown that gave the message: “Once you enter the woods, no one makes it out.” A tour guide then used the ploy that she lost her mom and needed the group’s help to find her in the woods. She initiated the tour by guiding the group into the main lobby of Wilson Hall where there were a good amount of terrifying characters and creatures that jumped out of nowhere to scare group members.
The tour consisted of a trip into a room filled with creepy characters and strobe lights, a trip up the stairs with wolves and shrieking women, and various fright-inducing encounters. There were a lot of blood-curdling shrieks throughout the tour and much more character interaction with the groups than there had been in past years.
The second floor of Wilson Hall was a sort of twisted Alice in Wonderland/whimsical enchanted forest theme. On this floor there were appearances from a bloodied Alice and a mentally insane joker. The joker would arise from his fetal rocking position and start following group members around with a deranged and disturbing expression on his face making the group members just the right amount of uncomfortably terrified.
Student Activities Board Vice President for Major Events, Thomas Egan, was at the forefront of the planning of this year’s haunted Wilson Hall tours. He started thinking of the theme for the upcoming year immediately when the last one (CarnEVIL) ended. “I spent most of the summer thinking about it and confirmed it would be ‘Into the Woods’ around July. I confirmed it with my advisor, the board, and Boom Roasted Productions, the club we co-sponsor it with, and everyone was on board,” said Egan.
Given the fall atmosphere and holiday hype, planning an event as massive as this for a holiday so widely loved was a treat for Egan. “Being able to plan a haunted house for Halloween allows me to be a part of something scary,” he said.
“I know what’s coming on the tours since I was behind the scenes. It makes me love Halloween that much more. Working with a club like Boom Roasted allows us to bring the theme that much more to life,” continued Egan.
According to Egan, one of the most difficult tasks of planning such an event is to keep the event different from previous years. Of this challenge, he says, “This year’s big change was the addition of starting the tours outside; using Erlanger Gardens as a new scare zone really allowed the theme [Into the Woods] to be amplified that much more.” He continued, “Nothing says ‘Into the Woods’ like being outside.”
This additional scare zone proved to be very effective. Amanda Drennan, junior communication student, says of the event, “I had a really great time on the haunted tour of Wilson Hall! I noticed that the tour started outside in the garden this year and that atmosphere along with the theme and cold weather made for quite a chilling experience.”
Student Activities Board President, Alicia Torello, said that they had a great time getting the event together. “It’s so fun to get into the holiday spirit. Especially for Halloween, which is everyone’s favorite!” She also commented on the vast success of the haunted tours. “There were over 2000 people; we couldn’t ask for a better night!”
Faculty Advisor for Boom Roasted Production and specialist professor of music and theatre arts, Shari Anderson, was equally pleased with the turnout and execution. “The members of Boom Roasted Productions put a great deal of time and effort into planning and executing the Haunted House again this year. It is one of the most popular events of their season, and they take it very seriously. I couldn’t be prouder of them,” she said.
IMAGE TAKEN from http://thegildedbutler.com/2014/03/18/shadow-lawn-mansion-west-long-branch-new-jersey