For college students, attractions such as Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios in Orlando and Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens in Tampa can break the bank, but no fear: New College’s very own Four Winds Cafe will bring the experience this Halloween to students for free.
At the first Four Winds Haunted House interest meeting held on Oct. 8, organizers chose an “X-Files” theme. “It’s not like you have to know who the characters are necessarily,” alum (‘11) and Four Winds manager Olivia Levinson said. The theme is supposed to be accessible and enjoyable for those who do and don’t watch the show, exuding a “top secret government alien holding facility” feel.
The back porch will be the “holding area,” and groups will be brought through the cafe and into four rooms – each complete with their own individual themes that connect to “The X-Files.”
Previous haunted houses on campus have been in B Dorm and Four Winds. The cafe hosted a creepy carnival-themed house two years ago but did not hold one last year.
“I was determined to make it happen this year,” Levinson said.
The date at the moment is set for Friday, Oct. 31, starting around 9:00 p.m. and lasting for about two hours.
Student involvement is key, and Levinson is looking for people who would like to help behind the scenes building sets, doing makeup and creating costumes. Levinson is also looking for performers and actors. Current students are not the only ones invited.
“Alums can get involved, people from the community can get involved,” Levinson said. “There are absolutely no restrictions on who would like to play a role in the actual haunted house.
“But, of course, the most important involvement is people showing up and participating in the actual walkthrough,” Levinson added.
The team is searching for anyone who is interested in being an “improvisational host of sorts” that will actually lead the group through the haunted house. They’re also trying to find bright floodlights.
“A good way of doing it is to get a small group of friends together, have a theme – based off of our grander theme – that you want to do, and then we’ll see if you can get a room to yourself,” Levinson said.
Preparations will begin around 5:00 p.m. and go until around 8:00 p.m. on the night of, and Levinson offered free coffee to people who help set up and take down.
None of the actors will touch anyone, but to those questioning whether they would like to attend, Levinson said that there will be some aspect of gore, allusions to medical trauma, and flashing lights. As the plan comes together, organizers will send an email and/or post a Facebook page with more detailed descriptions of content and trigger warnings. If someone individually would like all warnings room-by-room, email Levinson directly, and the team will happily provide a list.
“The haunted house is always really fun, and I think it’s a great tradition to uphold,” thesis student Hedda Cooper said. Cooper suggested the “X-Files” theme at the initial interest meeting. “I’m really glad that Olivia is taking it on as the Four Winds manager, too.”
“Two years ago, when we last had it, it was a huge turn out, so we’re hoping for another good turnout,” Levinson said. “But whatever happens, we’ll have fun doing it.”