Japanese Club held their version of a haunted house called “kimodameshi” the night before Halloween.
“‘Kimodameshi’ is a kind of a test of courage. It is a way you think you’ll tell a story. Each room is a progression of a story,” said senior Kate Tanquary, co-president of Japanese Club along with Yumi Kusonoki.
On a chalkboard next to the entrance of the haunted temple, drawn in red and orange chalk, were the words “Japanese Haunted Temple” and the Japanese characters for “kimodameshi.” Under an evil eye looking over visitors was the greeting “Enter O Brave Ones.” Taped to the corner of the chalkboard was the story of the haunted temple:
“The temple became haunted when a priest of this temple became seduced and driven mad by the ghost of the well. He killed the other priests and the worshippers, who now haunt these Halls. Once you go in, you can’t get out until you find the well…”
The haunted temple began at 6:30 p.m. and lasted until 10 p.m. At the opening of the temple, a line formed with students who were both anxious and afraid to enter. Students cowered at the maniacal screams emitting from the hallway. While waiting in line, one student said, “I don’t want to go in right now.”
“I was creeped out even though I worked on it,” said Japanese Club member sophomore Kelly Kriegshauser.
Donning a black mask covered with a large green X and safety pins and painted in lyrics from a Japanese band respectively, sophomores Gillian McKiernan and Kira Schultz guarded the entrance and welcomed visitors into the temple. Groups of usually two or three people would enter the temple.
Tanquary said, “The idea of getting two or three people instead of all at once or one by one makes it a little scarier because you also feel isolated because you’re separated from everyone going through. Even when one person gets scared, another person gets scared so you feed off that fear.”
As visitors entered the haunted temple, sophomore Megan Rose greeted them as ripped black plastic draped over the hall, which acted as the foreground in the hallway. Dressed as Rena from the Japanese horror anime “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni,” with a mask over her mouth, Rose acted as the tour guide for the temple.
As people exited, some were eager to share their experiences. While one person walked out of the hallway, she commented that the haunted temple “was fun.” Another, after entering the final room, could not wait to leave and ran out of the haunted temple.