Julie Wood | Editor
With Halloween quickly approaching, there is a vast amount of activities and attractions to attend in the City to get into the fall spirit. While the City offers these great opportunities, an even more convenient way to celebrate the spooky season is offered on campus.
Each year La Salle’s theater organization, The Masque, creates a thrilling Haunted House for the students. Covered by the Student Activities Fee, this event is free to attend.
Katie Kapfer, the Vice President of Technical Affairs for the Masque, oversees all planning involved with this grand event, and she has been actively involved with the Haunted House since her freshman year. “Freshmen year I acted in it, while sophomore year, I planned with the committee and helped run lights,” Kapfer said. “This year I am recruiting actors, leading the planning committee, finalizing budget needs, and making sure the event runs as smoothly as possible.”
The Masque has been busy organizing this event since the end of September, while also trying to manage with rehearsals for their upcoming musical. Despite the early start, most of the work is done throughout October, creating material up until the opening day. This preparation includes all of the planning, as well as buying any props or costumes that are needed for the actors or the different scenes throughout the guided walk-through attraction. “The week leading up to the event consists of the final preparations,” Kapfer shares. “That last week is definitely the busiest!”
Despite the hectic schedule of the overlapping events, the Haunted House is still an activity that all the members look forward to participating in. There are typically around 30 actors involved in the creation of this event, many of who also work on various aspects of the musical. “My favorite part about Haunted House is that it is an opportunity for The Masque to come together and go a bit wild,” said Kapfer. “We are in the middle of our production for Urinetown, and everyone is extremely busy focusing on getting the show ready. This event is a break from that; it allows us to act crazy and have fun while putting all our creativity together to create an amazing event.”
Each year, a unique theme is chosen. Last fall, the Haunted House revolved around a circus setting, filled with freak show elements of scary clowns and other chilling circus performers. This year, the theme has taken on a completely different approach, reinventing itself to be even scarier than previous years. Kapfer shared that the Masque will be adding more effects and makeup while also utilizing more places that the actors can use for jump scares.
“The theme is criminal asylum,” Kapfer shares. “We wanted to deviate from the run-of-the-mill vampires, werewolves and warlocks.” The Haunted House may even share some resemblance with another popular Philadelphia attraction, one that is notoriously known as one of the scariest in the city.
“Eastern State Penitentiary is our inspiration. We are looking to make this Haunted House more realistic than in previous years. Be on the lookout for real-life inspired criminals and serial killers.”
With so much organization put into the Haunted House, it is rewarding to those involved to see it come to life with students lining up to participate in the fright-filled night of fun. “The actual day of running the event is most exciting,” Kapfer said. “I love watching it all play out, and it is especially rewarding when I hear the participants’ reactions afterwards. The creation of the event has its stressful moments due to the extensive planning. But once it all falls into place, it is incredible to see The Masque’s talent and hard work come together.”
The Masque Haunted House will be open to students on October 26 from 9 p.m. until 12 a.m.