Club & Greek

Wilson Hall Transformed into “Haunted Mansion”

Wilson Hall was transformed into a “haunted mansion” for the annual Wilson Hall Haunted Candlelight Tour on Friday night, Oct. 25, with help from the Student Activities Board (SAB) and Boom Roasted Productions.

With the combined team work of both these clubs, they were able to transform Wilson Hall from a place of learning and education to a place of horror and screams, with approximately 300 people in attendance.

Every year SAB has made it a tradition to give students the ultimate haunted experience to get them in the Halloween spirit, but also to pay a tribute to the historical landmark: Wilson Hall.

SAB Vice President of Major Events, Lucy Russo, thought it would be a great idea to reach out to Boom Roasted Productions and ask them to bring their theatrical expertise to the event.

Russo said, “There’s something about Wilson Hall that makes  students bubble up with excitement. It instantly takes them back to that time. We played upon the real storyline of Wilson Hall after the fire and created characters that were traumatized by it as well as the remaining spirits of those who lost their lives in the fire, including the tour guides.”

“SAB was able to bring the scare factor into the tour like never before, with six scare zones and a phenomenal scenery set up,” added Russo.

Students were led by tour guides from the basement to the third floor by candle light. According to Michael Rosas, President of Boom Roasted Productions, there were 15 attendees to a tour and six tour guides in total. The tour guides each circulated throughout Wilson Hall at least three times each.

The six scare zones consisted of the billiards room, a spirit room, the chapel, the servant’s quarters, Mrs. Parson’s bathroom, and an infirmary.

Rosas said, “I wrote an entire story with the use of actual historical facts about the mansion and the Parsons. We created a story.” Rosas said the event was intended to be semi-educational. “I basically directed the storyline,” he added.

Rosas, along with 21 other members of Boom Roasted Productions, used their artistic freedom to create a haunted mansion “like never before,” he said.

Decorations included fire lamps, fog machines, spider webs, strobe lights, candles, costumes, makeup, and prosthetics.

Seniors and Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) sorority sisters Megan Van Tine and Michele Newman attended the event together along with a few other friends. Van Tine said, “It was amazing! I will definitely not be able to look at Wilson Hall the same for a while. Boom Roasted did such a great job as well as SAB.”

Van Tine said the Wilson Hall Haunted Candlelight Tour got her in the mood for Halloween. “It was all so impressive… My friends and I will have nightmares for quite some time,” she joked.

Newman agreed with her sorority sister, saying, “It was by far the best event at Monmouth I’ve ever been to. I felt like I was literally in a haunted mansion and loved every second of it.”

SAB started planning for this event since the first day of school, but started planning rehearsals and getting more heavily involved with Boom Roasted Productions around early to mid-October.

“I dreamt about this event. I probably lost a lot of hair for it because of the size of the event and how much pressure there was to create something good,” Rosas said. “I personally don’t like putting my name or my club’s name on something that isn’t ‘good,’ but this definitely was a great success.” Rosas is very grateful for the opportunity to work alongside SAB, and points out that they are a very hard-working and prepared organization.

The event was publicized with the help of both SAB and Boom Roasted Productions public relations directors. Publicity included Facebook and Twitter posts, posters displayed around campus, and blast emails sent to students. Both club names were mentioned in every advertisement.

Megan McGowan, Assistant Director of Student Activities and Student Center Operations, said, “It was a great night and a lot of fun to see Lucy Russo’s vision of the tour come together with hard work from both SAB and Boom Roasted Productions.”

Last year SAB hosted a sleepover in Wilson Hall which included a movie, ghost hunters and psychic readers. The year before that, the organization hosted a Wilson Hall Haunted Tour, but instead of bringing a scare factor into play, a historical approach was executed.

PHOTO COURTESY of Heather Kelly