By David Wong, San Jose State University student
Reanimated corpses line the entrance of Scotts Valley High School’s student union before shambling forward to greet attendees to the school’s haunted house.
The zombies vary in stature and wardrobe: there’s one that looks like a clown, another one that is a ballet dancer, and even one that looks the part of a Victorian-era doll.
Flashing strobe lights pierce the darkness of the haunted house as guests navigate their way through rooms filled with ghoulish personalities, bodily horrors and dabblings in the occult.
Scotts Valley High teacher Erik Wyner and student Lizzie Torrez were in charge of coordinating the effort for this year’s haunted house.
The idea for the haunted house began in 2003 when a student, Chris Mylrea devised a haunted house for a personal project. According to Wyner, he has been involved in the project since 2008.
All the funds raised by the haunted house go towards the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a large health organization that conducts research into blood cancer provides patient services.
Colton Crum, a student at Scotts Valley High and volunteer on the haunted house said the proceeds are going to the Society because one of their classmates was diagnosed with the disease last year.
The theme of the haunted house is based on a museum motif: the newly erected halls and passageways are narrow and there is an extensive assembly of walled plywood constructs that funnels people through the house with the aid of a tour guide.
Three motifs contribute to the museum theme according to Crum, "there's art, so paintings, statues...It [depicts] the war between Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley—it happened centuries ago; there are also animals (motifs)” said Crum.
Attendees start out at the front of the school at the student union, they will go through the garden and enter into the lobby where they will be seated until a tour guide follows them into the “3D room” with a mock fireplace and four stalls.
They watch a movie introduction that provides an explanation of the museum, then they will proceed through each exhibit in the student union proper.
Approximately 1,400 people attended last year’s event and Wyner expected the turnout to be even higher this year.