Photo courtesy of the University of the South Flicker
By Hadley Montgomery
The Bishop’s Common transformed to another type of gathering place on the Saturday of Halloweekend from 7 p.m. until midnight as the building became a haunted house for students, faculty, staff, and community members.
Tieta Keetle (C’18) and Ronald Hayes (C’18) longed to bring back a haunted house to campus that existed more than 30 years ago. Through the help and funds of the Community Engagement House and Gamma Sigma Phi fraternity, along with sponsorship from the Student Government Association, Multicultural Center, Phi Gamma Delta, Theta Kappa Phi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Kappa Omega, and Phi Sigma Theta, this dream became a reality.
Through planning, Keetle and Hayes decided upon the Bishop’s Common as the place for such an event. The halls of the BC provided an area to create a maze that effectively confused and scared the participants.
Before entering the house, participants were told a story about a genetic scientist who killed his daughter in a lab accident, thus causing him to go crazy. The actors recreated the aftermath of the accident, one that proved to be frightening for everyone involved. Addie Tyler (C’18) said, “The haunted house was really well done! I was really scared and screaming the entire time.”
The event was a sober activity available for all students, and it also raised money for Puerto Rico, recently affected by hurricanes. “Originally I had two choices,” Hayes said, “and it just naturally came to my mind to give to Mexico or Puerto Rico given the natural disasters.”
With the event over and funds counted, the haunted house raised more than $1,000 to benefit Puerto Rico. Given its success, Keetle hopes it will be an “annual thing that could easily involve multiple high schools around here and community members.”
Hayes said, “I viewed this year as the year of investment. It was the kick off to an annual haunted house. We had the feeling that if we could just pull this off, someone would be able to take it over year after year and run with it.”
Hayes and Keetle agreed that the event served its purpose “to shed light on the benefits an event like this has. This event is something that gave back to our community in terms of having a different outlet for students other than parties.”
The Sewanee community’s participation in the event showed through the volunteers, donations, and participants that made the event a success. Although the BC is back to its normal state, one may still find remnants of the spooky characters hanging around.