Students get spooky, down to boogie at Haunted Union and Zombie Prom

Walking in a line, students cover their ears as they enter the Haunted Union on Friday. (Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

The doors had not even opened and 50 people were already in line as the Union Program Council’s Haunted Union and Zombie Prom kicked off Friday night.

“I wasn’t expecting too much,” Daijah Jones, freshman in business marketing, said. “It didn’t look super scary from the outside.”

From the outside, the K-State Student Union certainly didn’t look like your typical haunted house. On the Union’s ground floor, just off the interior courtyard, the only thing set up to show where the entrance to the attraction was were a few tables and paper signs.

At one of the tables a group of UPC student advisers, each clad in fake gore and monster makeup, helped students sign waivers and paced the groups entering the haunted house.

As Jones’s group prepared to enter the attraction, there still wasn’t much of a spooky vibe about the place. Then a set of doors opened, and the group advanced into a long dark hallway.

Clearly the group had entered the haunted house, and the spooky vibes were in full force. The first scare of the course was smaller but very recognizable. A student, dressed in a yellow raincoat, screamed, “You’ll float too!”—the famous line from the movie “IT”—as the group passed by.

After that, the group boarded an elevator and a large white bunny appeared from the shadows to make the group feel just how small that elevator really was. Once the group reached the Union’s top floor, they moved on to the main section of the haunted house.

The course from there was broken up into four sections, each one designed by a UPC co-chair. One was dedicated completely to monstrous clowns, and another had dozens of dismembered dolls hanging from the ceiling. One room was a mash-up of different scenes from American Horror Story, and the last room was a recreation of a famous scene from the “Saw” movie series.

There were several jump scares scattered between each room to keep students moving fast. A performer with a fake chainsaw even chased groups down a longer hallway.

While the budget of this haunted house may not have been able to hold up to the production value and level of scares of professional attractions, the energetic performances by student volunteers made the this one feel just has fun and scream-inducing as any.

Along with more student volunteers, the Union hired two professional makeup artists to help make the performers look as scary as possible.

“It’s actually pretty different this year,” said Ben Mosley, performer at the attraction and senior in sociology and kinesiology. “Last year we had UPC members who were actors, but because of the success of last year we actually had enough people to act without UPC members and we aren’t doing our own makeup.”

Such a large event with so many people takes a lot of time and preparation to pull off. Katy Trupp, UPC member and junior in biology and secondary education, described the work her and her fellow co-chairs put in to make this event happen.

“We’ve been planning this for probably a month and a half,” Trupp said. “Some of us pretty much haven’t left the Union all day. I’ve been here since 8 a.m. setting up so I’ll have a full 12 hours once the event starts.”