Bringing the Holiday Fear to the LASA Fright House

FULL MOON: Junior Addison Mckenna dressed as a broken doll for the haunted house. Although this was the first fright house, organizers like Coach Derrick Lewis hopes for the future, photo by Sarah Garrett, graphic by Amelia Coleman.

FULL MOON: Junior Addison Mckenna dressed as a broken doll for the haunted house. Although this was the first fright house, organizers like Coach Derrick Lewis hopes for the future, photo by Sarah Garrett, graphic by Amelia Coleman.

Sadie Cravotta, Staffer

The inaugural LASA Raptor Fright House was an event put together by the athletics department to bring LASA together for a fun, spooky night to remember. It took place on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 29, and included escape rooms in various locker rooms designed by athletes. The haunted house itself also involved a guided tour throughout the athletic wing, with rooms ranging from a spooky clown show put on by members of the choir to a grotesque medical scene put on by sports medicine students. Athletic Coordinator and head football coach Derrick Lewis was the one that originally pitched the idea for a haunted house. Given his prior experience running such events at other schools, he took the lead in order to make this happen.

“When I first came for my interview, Ms. Sifuentes took me on a tour of the athletics wing,” Lewis said. “I said this could be a great haunted house because it already looked spooky back here, and the building itself had that appeal. I just thought the first fundraiser I would do to try to get the school to all come together would be a haunted house, so I picked the haunted house on my first day here.”

The setting up and running of this event was a team effort. Once one club signed up, more quickly followed suit.

“The first group to sign up was the choir with Mr. Lewis, and then our training staff, our velocity dance group, and our cheerleaders,”  Lewis said.

Brooklyn Bloom is a freshman on the cheer team, one of the groups that participated in setting up and running the haunted house. According to Bloom, there were a few challenges that came up while planning the haunted house. 

“We had to do a lot of planning because we had a price restriction, and we were in the orchestra rooms, so we had to accommodate what would fit in that room,” Bloom said. “We had to make sure that the people entering the haunted house did not see the people leaving the haunted house, which was a challenge because the opening to the room is quite small.”

The dance team was in charge of another room in the haunted house. Beatriz Pereira, a sophomore on the dance team, helped to make the room spooky and scary.

“The whole dance team volunteered to decorate the dance room,” Pereira said. “We had fake blood and fake spiderwebs, and we also had those big blowup ghosts and skeleton hands.  “Some of the parents also helped.”

Students and faculty members were at school working on setting up for the event all-day on Saturday. According to Bloom, much of the set up and preparation time went into creating the fright house. 

“I got there at 10 a.m. on Oct. 29,” Bloom said. “We worked pretty much all day to put this together. It was difficult. We had to hang up a bunch of different tarps. We had to set up tunnels and lights. A lot of hard work was put into it, but the end result was definitely worth it, and I think that it was just a really fun experience.”

Setting up was one of Pereira’s favorite parts of the haunted house. According to her, it brought the student and faculty community closer together.

“Setting it up and test running it was really fun because I got to do it with all of my friends,” Pereira said. “We climbed through the tunnel that we made with all the lights out, and we had music playing and flickering lights. It was really cool.”

The hope was that all this work would bring everyone at LASA together to experience the campus like they never had before, according to Lewis. The planning and setting up in advance played a big part in making sure everyone was scared as they walked through the school.  

“I wanted the first half of the haunted house to look the way the building typically looked, and then as they progressed through it they felt that they were being taken into a different place with some of the tunnels, the lights, the different elements of it and the idea is that people want to be afraid anyway,” Lewis said. “It’s like going to a comedy show. You’re already anticipating laughing, so you know you’re ready to laugh. I know that on Halloween most people already come with the idea that they’re going to be scared, and it’s just trying to find a way to keep the element of surprise. They never know what’s going to happen next, and so it was just trying to hide the next element was the trick behind making it scary.”

According to Lewis, the first Raptor Fright House was a success. Lewis said students seemed to really enjoy it, and the turn out was much more than expected given this was the first year. 

“We anticipated it being our first year that there was going to be a little skepticism behind it, and what I learned in the past is that the first year is typically like that,” Lewis said. “But once the students see what it looks like, their imagination kinda takes over and the second is always the better year. Now they’re already like ‘Coach we can do it like this next year’…so now I can pull back and let the kids take the lead now that everyone saw what it looked like. [Next year] I think we’ll have more escape rooms, and a little more elements of horror, but it’s going to be something that’s probably going to be here as long as LASA is at this school.”