VU Haunt, Valpo’s club for “all things spooky,” is holding a free haunted house in the basement of the Union on Halloween.
“Our biggest event throughout the year is the annual haunted house,” said Lee Sanchez, president of VU Haunt. “In the past we've had it on family weekend, so it's been a really good opportunity for people to just like have a unique experience at Valpo.”
Some changes to the event have been made due to COVID-19 precautions, but for the most part VU Haunt has been able to keep it similar to previous years.
“Honestly, a lot of what we've done in the past has been working for us this semester. So for example some of the minor changes are we only are allowing two people in at a time,” Sanchez said. “So they'll go as a group and they'll travel through the whole haunted house, and then another two people will go in, and so on and so forth.”
Groups have been somewhat larger in the past, and this year performers will also be taking precautions.
“In the past, we've had groups of like four or five, that's something that's different,” Sanchez said. “The performers and the guests will all be wearing masks the whole time. And the performers will be socially distancing. And we're gonna try and have the guests do that as best we can as well. We've been able to keep it in LL 30 [in the Union] because the room is so large, and we have very few people in it.”
This year’s theme for the haunted house is “witch coven,” but anything beyond that is a secret.
“We're all really excited about that. So expect some witches. Lots of cool happenings down there,” Sanchez said. “I don't want to give too much away because I don't want to ruin the surprise and ruin all the scares.”
The haunted house doesn’t cost anything to attend, you just need to reserve a ticket at the Welcome Desk. There are three time slots at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. According to Sanchez, all slots are in 30 minute increments--you just need to show up any time in that 30 minute period to go through the haunted house.
“I'm excited and also nervous for the haunted house this year...just cause obviously this semester is really different,” Sanchez said. “I'm excited for everyone to see what we've been working on, though, I think it's going to be really cool. And we've been working with the University, like all semester to be able to have a safe in person event...And I think that it's just like something that we may need as a campus.”
There are other events that VU Haunt holds on campus, such as a s’mores night they held earlier this semester.
“Other than [the haunted house]...we like to watch a lot of scary movies and do a lot of Kahoots and stuff. In the past, we've had a larger spring semester event. So for example, last year, before everything shut down, we were going to do like, we were gonna call it a Blood Ball or something, and it was going to be like a monstery, Halloween-ish themed dance,” Sanchez said. “And then the year before, we did a horror movie research project, researching how horror has evolved throughout the decades. So yeah, we have a lot of fun together, we just share passions for the same things...so that brings us together.”
To get involved with VU Haunt, follow them on Instagram and Twitter @VUHaunt. Their weekly meetings are at 5 p.m. in the Brown and Gold room in the Union, though that may change next semester.
“Anyone is always welcome to come to those meetings. They're not like exclusive to anyone,” Sanchez said.
According to Sanchez, VU Haunt is a great opportunity for people looking to fit in with an organization on campus.
“I think Haunt is a really good club for people who don't really feel that they fit in in other places on campus,” Sanchez said. “We’re a little bit more alternative if you want to use that word...We've grown a lot in the past couple years. And I think all of our recurring members have really gotten close to each other. And we really like what we're doing here. So it's a really fun time. I really like it. I'm happy that I found it.”