Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Haunted Hall succeeds again: MacArthur event draws hundreds from the community

“What are you doing in my house?” screamed sophomore Adrienne Helm to hundreds of scared visitors on Halloween night. Helm, dressed as a witch, was one of the many spectacles that visitors were treated to at this annual event held from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the Honors College Residence Hall.

Hailed by the Palm Beach Post as the number one event in Jupiter this past Halloween, the Haunted Hall attracted 500 visitors, including members of the community, students, and staff. Organized by the Student Government Program Board with the assistance of the Residential Life office, the event was described as “three floors of fright.”

Planning of the Haunted Hall was lead by Program Board Director Shari Jesteadt, the Program Board staff, and dozens of student volunteers. They started meeting a month in advance to decide on the various themes throughout the Haunted Hall. Throughout the event, the Program Board staff, as well as Governor Noemi Coltea, and Chief-of-Staff Henry Townsend worked behind the scenes to ensure that all the actors were comfortable and the scenes were working correctly. The entire Residential Life staff and the Residential Assistants were directly involved in much of the planning.

“A lot of work went into the event and I’m looking forward to even more student participation next year, and I am excited about the rest of the Program Board events for the year,” said Jesteadt.

As part of their continuous effort to serve the community, the Honors College welcomed children from Hibiscus House, a haven for abused and neglected children. They were treated to dinner in the dining hall, arts and crafts, and trick-or-treating in the other dorm. They were also the first group to walk through the Haunted Hall. Junior Annemarie Phalen, residential assistant, was in charge of the children’s visit.

Student volunteers constructed the Haunted Hall over a period of two days. Dozens of students lined the walls of the residence halls with visqueen, a black garbage-bag-like material, and set up the various scenes.

On the first floor, the tour began with a welcome from witches, as Helm and Residential Life Secretary Beverley Clark shouted at people in the lobby. There was a graveyard scene with dead bodies, and a “monster mash” party.

On the second floor was a coffin with a Dracula doll hanging from it, and Matt Collins appeared to be eating Ally Bennett’s brains. Down the hall was a mirror with a floating head, and snakes grabbed at people as they walked by. Beyond that was a mad scientist scene, including a scientist, Jared Reilly, who was pretending to cut off Nick Yanes’ leg. It was pitch black except for the blinking strobe lights, and in the hallway, Jeremy Owens played an insane person, grabbing and scaring people.

On the third floor was an electric chair, in which sat Chris Byrd, and Patrick Hoy ran around scaring visitors with a chainsaw. There were several scary clowns, a caged Hannibal Lector, played by Jeffery Vantreese, a Dracula funeral, zombies, and a boy eating a hand. Further down was a meat grinder featuring Freddy Krueger, played by Steve Nicole, making backscratchers from severed human arms. The tour concluded with a visit to hell where a he-devil, played by senior Shawn Merkel, welcomed visitors and jumped out to frighten them. A she-devil, played by myself, pointed to the exit and reminded them to say their prayers.

Every scene was lit just enough for the visitors to see, and included different sound effects, from music to screams. The scenes got progressively scarier as visitors went up the stairs. Each group of visitors was led through the Haunted Hall by costumed tour guides, including Phalen, Kayley Malencia, Erin Moore, Andrea Gagaoudakis, Katy Glatthorn, Drew Shiner, and Elina Kilevskaya.

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