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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Residence halls of Historic Lane put on annual haunted house event

    Kyle Hansen

    Undeclared engineering major Monica Stoll, left, screams at plant sciences sophomore Chelsea Hoel during the
    Haunted Dungeon event in Yuma Residence Hall on Thursday. The Haunted Dungeon will open to students on Friday and Saturday.

    Beware the Barbie dolls at Yuma Residence Hall’s annual haunted dungeon. 

    Yuma has put together a haunted house in its basement for the students and surrounding community members for the last 21 years. 

    Generally, the event is contained to only the basement of Yuma, but this year, the haunted house has been expanded to include all of Historic Lane: Yuma, Maricopa Residence Hall and Gila Residence Hall. Lysette Davis, the community director of Yuma, said the reason behind the expansion of the event is because the three historic dorms now have one overarching hall council.

    “We strongly felt that the Haunted Dungeon and future activities would improve if we combined ideas and perspectives,” Davis said on the decision to collaborate on the haunted house. “We opened the planning of Haunted Dungeon to residents and [resident assistants] across campus who have worked hard to make the event sustainable and inclusive.”Last year, the haunted dungeon celebrated its 20th anniversary with a theme involving a strange illness that was spreading around the university. This year, the house is called “The Collection,” and will revolve around dollhouses.

    “We had a hall council meeting where a handful of ideas, such as aliens, ‘American Horror Story’ and dollhouse,” said Julian Silvestre, president of the historic hall council. “We originally voted on an asylum theme, but because we didn’t want to put a negative stigma on mental disease, we went with the second option, which was dollhouse.”

    Throughout the house, there will be everything from puppets and porcelain dolls to Barbies breathing down your neck and popping out when you least expect it. In addition to the annual haunted house, this year will also feature a maze that is accessible for people with disabilities.

    The event is open to the public, not just to the students at the UA.

    “It’s targeted at people who love Halloween and haunted houses,” Silvestre said. “This year, they are expecting to be frightened beyond belief.”

    One of the main factors contributing toward the elevated hype around the haunted house is the new movie “Annabelle” that was recently released in theaters. The movie focuses on a porcelain doll possessed by a demon that threatens a young couple. Because the new movie brings back dollhouse horror — made famous by films such as “Child’s Play” — the staff at the haunted dungeon is hoping the audience this year is larger and more excited than ever before.

    The Haunted Dungeon is open for business on Friday and Saturday from 8-10:30 p.m.  Although there is no charge to enter into the house, visitors are encouraged to bring one canned food item to donate to the UA Campus Pantry. The Campus Pantry is a nonprofit started in 2012 to help students who suffer from food insecurity. For the past few years, canned food has been collected at the Haunted Dungeon; the event not only provides a fun activity on campus, but also contributes to a local charity.


    Follow Chelsea Cook on Twitter.

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