Smith Artist(s) of the Month: Part Two

Kyle Kaplan ’15
Arts Editor

This year, the HSECs of Haven-Wesley, Stephanie Kupiec ’15, Cecely Ogren ’16, and Alex Lopez ’15, put on a haunted house that attracted over 200 hundred people and reinstated a house tradition. Here’s what they had to say about its creation, and what they’re planning to do for next Halloween:

What inspired you to have a haunted house?

SK: When I was looking at houses on the Smith College website, I was looking at Haven House and read that they hosted a haunted house every Halloween. That was actually one of the things that drew me to this house, and I originally thought that the school put it on, and when I got here I found out that the students were in charge of it. I mentioned it at one of our first house meetings and didn’t realize that I was going to be responsible for its production this year. I tried to re-create the kind of stuff that I had been to.

How long did it take to plan?

SK: Literally from the day we became HSECs, we started planning the haunted house. It was a two-months of thinking, planning, buying and trying to do the whole thing under 150 dollars.

AL: It was our baby.

CO: Stef and Alex did all the running to the store. I would go to different departments, like CMP underneath the archives to get speakers.

So, Haven is the only house that puts on a haunted house every year?

CO: That’s what the Smith website says. To get an idea for what to do this year, we asked around and looked at pictures from previous years. It was apparently a tradition that had died out and we had over 200 people come this year.

How did you decide what needed to be in the Haunted House?

AL: We did walkthroughs with people and talked about what kinds of scenes we wanted. We had a lot of props from the kitchen so that’s how we came up with the zombie kitchen. We discussed what each specific scene would be, so we had a zombie kitchen, a mad scientist throwing water balloons at the walls, etc. And then when I went shopping at the dollar store, a lot of what was put in the haunted house was what I could find there. Cobwebs and fake blood were standard, but the “human hair” was all me. I bought this dollar headband with “human hair” on it and it wound up looking really cool.  Then we started looking at the space, and what scenes it lent itself to. So for example, there were cages so people could rattle them, or stand inside of them

Did you each have a different role in producing the haunted house?

CO: In the beginning the work was collaborative, Stef, Alex and I did all the running to the store. I would go to different departments, like CMP underneath the archives to get things like speakers.

Based on how successful your haunted house was, are other houses planning something similar in the future?

SK: Well, at the HSEC meeting, I know one housed talked about doing a Nightmare Before Christmas theme, and another house talked about doing a haunted house for Valentine’s Day. I don’t know if that had anything to do with our haunted house, but I think it’s great that more houses want to put them on. Next year, I’m hoping we can make it a fund raiser—so if we had charged everyone that came in even a dollar, we would have had two hundred to donate to something local.

AL: Yeah, and apparently an alumna who graduated ten years ago posted on her blog that she was so glad we did the haunted house again. I think we all agree that we want to do it again next year.

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