MHS haunted house offers more than scares

Middletown+High+School%27s+haunted+house+poster%2C+the+drama+department+holds+this+annually+to+raise+money.

Photo by Photo Illustration: Tommy James and Sarah Callan

Middletown High School's haunted house poster, the drama department holds this annually to raise money.

By Aniston Morris, Round Table entertainment editor

Middletown High School’s drama department holds a haunted house each year to help fund their program. Students see the haunted house in its entirety, but not many really see the time and effort put into its production.

For the past seven years, generations of MHS students have spooked the town. “It’s fun to see people’s reactions, staying in character can be quite a challenge,” said Juliana McNally, a sophomore at MHS and second year participant in the haunted house; however, the scaring is not everything they do.

Tommy James, a senior at MHS and a stage manager for the drama department said, “we position the walls made of OSB wood after we build them to make the maze. We paint each room, make props and costumes, then decorate and keep preparing until the show.” Participants guessed they spend around 150 hours during the two months they work on the haunted house.

At a build, the group puts the room together by building walls and positioning them. “That can be a lot more work than you’d think,” said McNally. “Moving the wood, making sure it’s flush, drilling it together, then moving it into place can take hours to finish.”

Next the group separates into the rooms they will use as their scare floor and begins to paint. “It’s a big part of designing each room,” said Leah Koltz, a junior at MHS and the lights manager for the drama department. As they finish, they decorate each room with props and costumes for the actors.

After all of their work is complete, they put on quite a show as they bring terror to those who walk through, but they’re still not quite finished. “Don’t forget the strike when the shows are over,” said Koltz. The day after the final show, everyone does their part to take their work apart.

“Yeah, it’s a lot of work and we really dedicate ourselves to get things done, but you finish with a great group of people and amazing relationships with friends,” added James. “It’s really a good experience.”