the Haunted House

presented by Bridges Alumni and Friends

The roots of the annual Haunted House were in backyard carnivals for Oma/Vic's pre-schoolers and after-schoolers. In Wisconsin, school teachers gather annually for a convention on the last weekend in October. That means school is not in session for kids on the the Thursday and Friday nearest to Halloween. A good deal of mischief traditionally attends the Day of the Dead (in the USA at least) at which teens excell.

So as Oma/Vic's preschoolers outgrew the afternoon backyard carnivals, the idea of putting on a Haunted House was a natural next step, to provide a constructive and creative outlet for their Halloween energy. Now older, they brought their friends too. Some 50 to 75 teens and adults gathered each year to produce the Haunted House for seven years, earning a reputation for being creative, edgy and truly scary. The event was covered several times by local television stations and newspapers. The early years needed considerable subsidy from us as we accumulated props and know-how; however, the final production was a benefit that netted several thousand dollars for our local community center .

Planning & Creating [] Performance Days [] Procedures & Lessons

mid-summer planning

"So, what REALLY scares you...??!"

Planning the 'scenes' often began in summer. Usually the older teens would meet to discuss what was successful about last year's production, what didn't work and why not, what props would be needed and so on. These sessions featured wild and scary brainstorming and surprisingly sophisticated discussions about psychological effects. They also included serious debates, about the nature and meaning of depicting violence, community perceptions of certain kinds of scenes, and explorations of theatrical and creative issues. Also discussed were The Rules. The schedule was set in the Invitation.

sewing costumes

Sewing costumes

Our Haunted House actually was presented not inside but around the exterior of the house. Inside was 'backstage', for prop-making, meals and costiume changes.

signpainting   teamwork
setting supports 

triple hug

Lots of creativity, work-in-community, and fun!

Planning & Creating [] Performance Days [] Procedures & Lessons

Top of page
last modified 20 Nov 14