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Haunted hotel spooks on Halloween eve

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

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From the second I walked into Carpenter Tower for the annual haunted house, I had an uneasy feeling in my chest.

The lobby was decorated to look like a hotel, which is fitting because Carpenter used to be one. There was a “hotel manager,” who helped people get a spot on the list and sign waivers, as well as several students dressed as blood-covered bellhops, ready to be the tour guide for anyone who dared to enter. And since I dared to enter, the hotel manager soon rang the bell and said, “Mackane, your room is ready. You may follow our bellhop, ‘Hell-in.'”

So I followed Hell-in down the stairs and into the dark basement where I could already hear screams. The first room we passed was a bathroom. It was not necessary to enter the room to pass through the rest of the haunted house, but the bellhop insisted that I check it out.

There were flashing strobe lights, making it hard for me to get a grip on my surroundings. Just as my eyes adjusted, a girl with horrifying makeup eerily emerged from behind the bathroom door. She did not shriek or say anything. Her silence was scarier than anything she could have said.

I left the bathroom and went into the next room, which was much larger. I saw a table in the dead center of the room, where a woman was sawing a man in half. Both of them had very realistic makeup and costumes on, adding to the scare factor. The man appeared dead, so I figured I only had to deal with the woman. I calmly tried to pass by her and let her go about her sawing, but she had other plans, and so did the man on the table. The man jumped off the table, and the two of them began to advance towards me. Naturally, I trailed behind Hell-in, away from them and toward the hallway.

As we progressed, I saw a boy on the floor with only his head and arms sticking out from an open door. I could not see into this room. Just as I approached, and my guide informed me that it was the kitchen, I heard a loud voice yell “get back in here!” The boy was then dragged by his feet back into the kitchen, where a butcher began to chop him up.

This part was not quite as scary, but it was no fault of the actors. It’s just that it is hard to make this act look realistic with a plastic butcher knife.

Regardless, I entered what seemed to be the final room. Hell-in waited outside, which did not sit well with me. There were two students dressed as little girls, one of whom asked me “do you want to be my best friend?” I panicked and told the girl that I was maxed out on friends right now, but I’d be happy to do some of the half-finished puzzle that was on the table next to her. She wanted no part of this puzzle, however, as her and the other girl began to approach me, backing me into a corner. Just as I tried to slide out of the room, a terrifying clown jumped out from underneath the stairwell. I turned away from the clown, who looked much older than a student, causing me to second guess if he was actually part of this haunted hotel or just a creep that snuck into this dorm, only to run into another girl who had a perfect horror movie scream. I can still hear it ringing in my ears.

The two little girls began to yell at the clown to “get me” and prevent me from leaving.  Regardless, I decided it was time to go.

I sprinted up the stairs, only to slow down and turn around when I heard what sounded like a lawnmower. Immediately, I regretted my decision. When I I turned back around, I locked eyes with an even scarier, new clown, wielding a chainsaw. He was running up the stairs toward me, and that was the final straw. As I pushed open the door and felt the freezing wind from outside, I wondered if I should stay inside a little longer.

I turned back and saw the clown running up the stairs. That made my decision to leave a little easier. As I got further away from Carpenter, I noticed the clown was standing in doorway starring at me, chainsaw in hand.

Overall, the Carpenter Haunted Hotel surpassed all of my expectations. The actors all devoted a large amount of effort to stay in character and make the experience as scary as possible. Even the bellhops were super professional, only further aiding the spooky feel of the whole attraction. My one complaint would be that the bellhops calmed me down a bit. Had I not been guided by Hell-in, I would have been much more terrified. At the same time, I also think I would have gotten lost, and possibly never left the haunted hotel.

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About the Writer
Mackane Vogel, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Mackane Vogel is a junior from Baltimore, Maryland. He is studying journalism and has worked for the Arts & Entertainment desk since his freshman year.

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