Banned film inspires campus’ haunted house

By Michael Foster-Sanders/campus editor

The Halloween spirit will be in the air when South Campus’ writing center hosts its annual haunted house Oct. 27-28.

The theme this year is “One of Us,” inspired by the 1932 movie Freaks. The film was banned in many countries when it debuted due to its disturbing imagery showing physically disfigured people employed by a circus. 

Freaks is about a trapeze artist scheming to take an inheritance that a circus performer has by marrying him and running away with her lover.

Writing lab instructional associate Samantha Donoso said the event, which was started five years ago by learning lab manager and event coordinator Gabrielle Raymond, began its planning in the spring and includes set design, makeup and costume design for a sideshow circus vibe. 

Visitors should expect to be scared, Donoso said.

“We’re playing with a lot of visual effects, heights, distractions, obviously jump scares and a lot of blood and guts,” she said.

Raymond brought in raw material for Donoso to create costumes over the summer, and Donoso said she is proud that 90 percent of the costumes are her designs. She is especially proud of the Ladybug costume she knows will shock attendees due to its radical design.

South student and volunteer Jaialyn Strickland said she found out about the event over the summer when she saw a poster and felt compelled to sign up because Halloween is her favorite holiday.

Strickland, whose character is one of the top secret specialized clowns of the attraction, said the experience is going to be unique. The audience will be caught off guard with what they will go through while traveling through the house.

“Definitely make sure your shoelaces are tied tight because we’re going to scare the shoes off of you,” she said.

The haunted house is from 8 p.m.-midnight Oct. 27-28 in the SCLC building. Admission is free for TCC students, faculty, staff and the general public.