Arts & Culture / Mosaic / November 2, 2011

Students enjoy the nine circles of hell

With screams emanating from the Q&A House and a long line waiting for their turn, 99 students traveled through the nine circles of hell on Saturday night.

Groups of up to three students traveled through the transformed living room, kitchen and basement, being scared by 12 student actors playing roles or helping behind the scenes in the Dante’s “Inferno” themed house.

“The interesting thing from this year is usually you have a guide, a very creepy guide, that takes you through the haunted house. And this time you have the narrator telling you which circle you’re in, and it’s usually through a wall, and you have to follow a laid out path,” senior Melissa Sher said.

Despite the cold weather, students waited for over an hour at times on Saturday, and in total almost 140 students traveled through the 10-15 minute haunted house on Saturday and Sunday, beating the previous year’s total.

“[This year was] just as creepy,” senior Katie Haynes said, “They hold themselves to a pretty high standard and doing this is just wonderful.”

While some students found parts scary, others enjoyed the house and even spurted out some laughs.

“I liked the crawling: I have never been to a haunted area where you have to crawl,” senior Kathryn Quesnell said. She also enjoyed that the house made the adventure true to the theme.

The planning for this year’s house began last year and construction started before they even completed moving in for the fall.

“We laid down the tape on the floor before we were done unpacking,” senior Matthew Becker said, “and have worked on it every single day since.”

“Blueprints were made down to the inch,” senior Beth McRill said. McRill and Becker were the main planners for this year’s haunted house, but also had help from the other members living in the house.

Many parts of the house were created from found supplies, including cardboard from dumpsters and old issues of The Knox Student. This has helped keep the costs for the project down.

“They do a phenomenal job, and then the fact that they have to do a phenomenal job with peoples’ recycling just adds another level of admiration/respect to what they have done,” Sher said.

While the financial cost to build the haunted house was fairly minimal, the amount of time spent on the design easily eclipsed it.

“I haven’t been in a haunted house in probably six years and it was not nearly as well done as this. [The previous house] was … a lot more amateurish,” freshman Joella Travis said.

The seniors who have been involved with the haunted house for all three years will miss the fun of designing and constructing the haunted house, but are proud that the tradition will continue. Next year’s members have already begun creating ideas.

John Williams

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