House scares for charity

By Emily Sokolik

Tim Lowder anxiously waited in a dark stairwell for his next victims – a group of students who would be unlucky enough to cross his path. He would lunge out at them when the time was right, feasting on their flesh as only a zombie could.

“People have been pretty freaked out,” said Lowder, freshman in LAS. “Everybody gets pleasure in scaring someone.” Lowder isn’t actually a re-animated corpse, but the piercing screams, cobweb-lined bushes and aged tombstones at 401 E. Daniel St. Monday night, could have made anyone believe otherwise. Alpha Kappa Lambda transformed their fraternity house into a local Halloween attraction to help raise money for Alzheimer’s research and domestic violence education. The fraternity and Sigma Kappa, a campus sorority chapter, kicked off the first-ever haunted house. Bill Anderson-Blough, Alpha Kappa Lambda house manager and organizer of the event, said the haunted house was meant as a seasonal alternative to campus bars and parties.

“People love to be scared,” said Anderson-Blough, sophomore in FAA. “Where else can you do anything like this on campus?” Two weeks ago, Anderson-Blough began purchasing materials for the haunted house but the decorating was a last-minute effort, said Kim Thinnes, senior in Communications and philanthropy chair of the sorority.

“They pretty much set up everything yesterday,” she said Monday. “They were working on it all day and night.” Despite some anxiety, members of Alpha Kappa Lambda and Sigma Kappa were prepared to greet students at the door when the house opened at 7 p.m. Stefanie Warning, junior in LAS, was a tour guide at the haunted house. She said she began the tour with a story about a college student who kills her own barn dance date after she finds out he kissed another girl.

“I eventually get murdered at the end of the tour,” said Warning, a member of Sigma Kappa. The haunted house concluded in the basement with an appearance by an evil clown, a few gruesome murders and a man trapped in a small cage. Strobe lights and fog were used to obscure the images.

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“I almost had a heart attack,” said Stephanie Rehm, sophomore in Business, after she finished the tour. Anderson-Blough said he is hoping to raise around $600 for the two charities and was pleased with last night’s turnout.

“People have been telling me this is one of the best haunted houses,” he said. “It’s even better than some in Rantoul.” The haunted house is open today from 5-10 p.m. Admission is $3.