Noehren Hall ‘great scare for a great casue’


CLINTON OLSASKY, Executive Editor | [email protected]

The biting wind and chilly October air failed to deter the brave scare-goers that waited in line on the west side of Noehren Hall on Wednesday and Thursday night, where the dorm held their annual haunted house, Horror on Hudson.

The admission fee was either $2 or two non-perishable food items. All the proceeds from the event benefitted the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, a local non-profit organization located in Waterloo.

According to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank’s official website, the organization’s mission is to “provide nutritious food and grocery products to nonprofit organizations and individuals in Northeast Iowa, while offering hunger education programs to the community and those in need.”

Sophomore accounting major, Brian Johnson, served as the chair of the Advertising and Logistics Committee for the Noehren Haunted House this year.

“Not only is it an accessible haunted house that’s on campus in a controlled location,” Johnson said, “its admission benefits a good, local charity that’s always in need.”

After paying the admission fee, students were escorted inside the Noehren Hall basement by a guide. A DJ from KULT-LP accentuated the unnerving atmosphere with Top 40 radio. While in line, students were greeted by several creepy characters, including a silent hooded figure and a life sized doll that played “Ring around the Rosie” with unsuspecting victims.

Once inside the basement, participants were forced to wade through an ocean of veritable nightmares, lit only by the erratic flashing of strobe lights. Spider webs hung from the walls, messages of impending doom written in blood and a multitude of unsettlingly and convincing “scare actors”; all of these added to the haunted house’s effect.

These terrifying tormenters included: a butcher chopping up a live victim, a vampire in the laundry room and a girl ominously playing the theme from the 1978 horror film, “Halloween” on the piano.

In addition, a significant section of the tour was devoted to a haunted circus filled with clowns, one of which was particularly adamant about retrieving student’s noses with a large pair of forceps. While the scare actors did not hesitate to scream within close proximity of the tour members, none of them actually touched the participants.

The majority of the tour guides and scare actors were primarily from Noehren, but some of the volunteers came from other residence halls on campus.

According to Johnson, the event’s success relied heavily on student involvement, and a lot of work went into the finished product.

“We’ve essentially been planning since the beginning of the semester,” Johnson said. “There’s been contact with the theater department to assist with makeup, and decorating has been going on all week.”

Students who participated in the frightening festivities were not disappointed. The many blood-curdling screams that resounding throughout the dark corridors of the Noehren Hall basement served as evidence. One such student that attended the event was Manon Berel.

“I think it was really scary and [they did] a very good job,” Berel said. “I screamed a lot, for sure.”

Berel was accompanied by her friend Maddy Lindfield, who summarized the event.

“It was creepy, thrilling, scary and exciting all at once,” Lindfield said. “I’m definitely glad I went; it was worth it.”

Sophomore English major, Caleb Rea, also reacted positively.

“I thought it was very scary, and the students in it did a great job portraying their characters,” Rea said. “I’m actually pretty afraid of clowns, so the clowns were especially terrifying…I’m really glad I went, because it was a great scare for a great cause.”