Zombie-themed haunted house seeks volunteer actors to frighten attendees

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Daniel Stewart junior staff writer

The Riley Haunted Attraction Committee is seeking volunteer student actors for its second annual haunted house. This year’s theme is zombie-inspired.

“We’ve had it for two years, we’re looking to put on a good second year,” said Daryl McKinney, director of the Riley Haunted Attraction Committee. “Last year we did an asylum theme. It’s nice to change up themes, and this year we are going off the movie ‘Quarantine.'”

McKinney said scaring people makes Halloween popular and fun. Last year’s haunted house brought in several volunteer actors, including members from Delta Sigma Phi, whom McKinney said helped make the event special and entertaining for everyone involved. The crowds reached nearly 1,000 people some nights, and McKinney said he wants to repeat that turnout this year.

He said the K-State students really helped the crowd go “berserk” by scaring people when and where they least expected.

“Last year, we had a really good fear factor in the attraction,” McKinney said. “People enjoyed it so much that they were willing to pay to go in it again and again. It’s all about the fun and the fear factor on what makes people want to come back, especially when you have people that scare you real bad outside.”

He also said there were benefits for student volunteer actors who chose to participate.

“One, it would help them gain a little more experience,” McKinney said. “Two, volunteering looks really good on a resume and shows people you are willing to help others. And three, if they love Halloween as much as I do, it will be fun. There are still 35 spots open, so I encourage people to come out and volunteer.”

Amy Howell, junior in mechanical engineering, was a part of the haunted house last year and said it was a good time for the Halloween season. Her role was to act as a “tour guide” for haunted house visitors and then mysteriously disappear mid-tour.

“We would come around blind corners, pop out, sing little creepy songs and use scary voices,” Howell said. “It’s a lot of fun because you meet new people, and it is something to do outside of school.”

Howell and McKinney both said volunteer actors only need to brush up on some scary movies to get in the right mindset for frightening people.

“The way I got ready was to think about what scares me,” Howell said. “Just kind of play along with that and base your character around that and go with it.”

McKinney plans to return this year to work the event.

Norman Myers, junior in marketing, also plans to volunteer in this year’s event. A first-time volunteer, he said he thought it would resemble being in a real-life scary movie.

“I’m already excited – it’s October,” Myers said. “I’ve been watching scary movies at my house all month getting ready for this; I think anyone who likes Halloween should come out. It’s having a good time and dressing up and giving them a thrill on Halloween, and you’re doing community service and having a lot of fun.”

The attraction lies within an abandoned Chevrolet dealership, currently owned by Jim Taylor, who allows the Riley Haunted Attraction Committee to put up the haunted house inside. Taylor’s property is located at 116 Kansas Ave. in Riley, Kan.

The attraction starts Oct. 22 and runs through Oct. 30; it opens at 8:30 p.m each night. Those interested in volunteering or looking for ticket information can call Daryl McKinney at 785-340-6997.

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