La Casa Holds Annual Haunted House

I am not a Halloween person. I don’t have fond memories of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and I haven’t trick-or-treated in many years. The scariest movie I’ve ever seen is “Silence of the Lambs,” because watching previews for horror movies makes me want to cry. I jump when people tap me on the shoulder and I’d never been to a haunted house before Thursday, October 31 at La Casa Pan-Latina Americana.       

Now that I’ve got that huge disclaimer out of the way, I can go on with the actual experience of La Casa’s annual haunted house.

I could hear shrill screams as I walked down the hill toward the house, which seemed like a pretty bad sign. But with three other girls waiting at the entrance and a guide with a flashlight ready to show us through, I figured it couldn’t be too scary.

The first thing we saw when we entered, besides the black tarp walls swaying in the breeze, was a girl huddled in front of a television set to static and white noise. Creepy? Yes. Scary? Not until we had all walked past her and she started crawling after us, screaming at the top of her lungs. We all screamed back at her and hurried away.

Of course, there were people waiting around the next corner to jump out at us, but much worse was the blood-spattered butcher standing behind two body bags; one was hanging from the ceiling and one was on a table. When we walked by, the body bag on the table started screaming and thrashing and the butcher hovered, knife in hand.

With a twisting, turning route that took us around the whole house, upstairs and down into the basement, there were more than enough different scenes set up to scare everyone at least once. Around 15 actors played all of the roles: there were people chained, caged, lost, begging for help and just plain screaming.

In fact, pretty much everything in La Casa screamed at us, except for the masked, robed person who followed us silently. I don’t even know how long he was following us, but by the time I finally turned around and saw him, I was so scared that I started hysterically screaming, “Don’t touch me, don’t get any closer, don’t get near me, I’ll punch you.”

Most of the things visitors at the haunted house said were unprintable, but the actors themselves were perfectly sweet people with the lights on and the costumes off, with plenty to say about the experience. “We don’t practice ahead of time,” senior Jennifer Rivera, president of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) said. LASO organizes the event and co-hosts it with the La Casa residents, Sisters of the Round Table (SORT) and Brothers.

“We’ve been working on this for almost a week, constructing since last Saturday. We actually did all of the plastic ourselves,” Rivera said, indicating the blood-spattered wall hangings that made up the maze of the haunted house.

While the group as a whole agreed that the best parts of the haunted house were the very convincing zombies and the basement, various people had favorite memories of visitors.

“This one girl fell down on her knees [out of fear],” first-year Humberto Ochoa said, laughing.

“Somebody said that they were going to kill us all,” senior Melissa Gamez said.

Fortunately, no one took that too seriously. The haunted house stayed open and ready for action late into the night, and Colgate students and town residents alike enjoyed it. I, for one, used up my quota of terror for the year – but next year, I’ll probably be back for more.

Contact Lee Tremblay at [email protected].