Scotts Valley High School’s Student Union has been transformed into the dark hallows of Armada Prison for the schools ninth annual haunted house. This year’s theme, Souls from the Past, will take attendees through a frightening maze of 20 prison-themed rooms, where the souls of past prisoners haunt the halls.
What began in 2003 as a class project by then-sophomore Chris Mylrea has turned into one of the most popular clubs on the SVHS campus and one of the most well-known haunted houses in the county. This year, over 250 students are taking part in the production of the haunted house, which has been in the planning stages since the summer. Students have also been working into the wee hours of the night for the past week building and putting together the set of the prison, and will continue through the weekend working as actors and staff for the haunted house.
“This is the first year we have worked with this many students,” said student coordinator, Senior Jordan Rogers. “It’s really exciting seeing them getting so involved in it all. There are so many kids here ready to scare people.”
Visitors to the prison will be greeted outside by zombie cheerleaders, prom queens and students, and if the timing is right, they may even catch the zombie squad’s rendition of the “Thriller” dance.
Then, visitors are shuffled into the prison where they must pass through security before entering and glimpsing life in the haunted Armada Prison, while passing through rooms such as the mess hall, solitary confinement, medical bay, visitation room, and the warden’s office, as ghastly scenes unfold in each.
But the haunted house is not just about scaring. It is also a big fundraiser. Each year, the students involved in the production of the haunted house choose a charity to donate the proceeds from admission tickets too. This year, they have chosen the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the same organization that received the donation last year.
“Last year we changed it to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of Erik Murai, who is a student who was diagnosed with leukemia,” Rogers said. “We donated the money to research in honor of him.”
Rogers said the organization was very excited about the nearly $6,000 donation last year and was diligent in letting the students know exactly what the money was used for, so they decided to once again donate to them.
More than 1,000 people are expected to take the ghoulish tour through Armada Prison this Halloween weekend and the students are hoping to raise even more money for leukemia research as they put on their biggest haunted house yet.
The Scotts Valley High School Haunted House is open from Oct. 27-29, from 7-11 p.m. at the school’s Student Union, 555 Glenwood Dr. Tickets are $8. For More information, visit www.scottsvalleyhauntedhouse.com.