Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Boo: Scared Ya, Didn't I?

Haunted house collage
From Brennan Woods Elementary yearbook
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

When I was in elementary school, my parents were very active in the school's parents' group.  My mom severed as the president for several years.  Anyway, each year, this group known as the Brennan Woods Backers, held a Chili Supper and Haunted House fundraiser.  It was exactly what the title implies.  Each year, the volunteers would transfer a portion of the school into a haunted house on a Friday night.  Chili, crackers, and brownies were served before the frights started.  There was also a cake walk for the weak at heart.

I wish I had some actual color photos from the haunted house, because my memories of it are so vivid.  I'd love to be able to share those images with you, but after 30 years, I can't find anyone who has any pics.  You're looking at a couple of collage pictures from the yearbooks I have.

Each year, the Backers would have the standard scary stuff in the haunted house, there was a mad scientist lab complete with floursant paint.  I can still see that bright yellow glowing wall with the "bloody" streaks going down it.  The house also featured something current in pop culture. One year they did the scene from Gremlins in the kitchen when the creatures attack Billy's mom.  I can still remember the blender with a pair of paper mache Gremlin legs spinning around.

Haunted house collage
From Brennan Woods Elementary yearbook
That same year, I got to be in the haunted house.  I played Elliot, opposite a classmate who dressed like ET.  We were at the very end of the house, there to provide something light hearted for the kids coming through.  We handed out Reese's Pieces to everyone who exited.

My final year at Brennan Woods, there was a Return of the Jedi portion.  There were many adults and kids who dressed up for this scene.  I was a Gamorrean Guard from Jabba the Hutt's lair.  My little brother who was only in fourth grade and pretty short to boot was Chewbacca.  Oh the irony... One of the talented and creative art teachers, Mr. Tamme made a life sized paper mache (I think that's what it was made from) version of Han Solo encased in carbonite.  Again, I wish I had the photos to share, because these were amazingly awesome displays.

Those days are long gone, but they stand out in my memory as some of my favorite things about elementary school.  The haunted house made Halloween fun and I'd like to think others who participated had a good time doing it too.  I don't think schools would be able to do some of the displays we had back then, and more importantly, our schools don't have parents groups as active as the Backers were back in the day.

1 comment:

  1. I loved the chili supper!! One of my favorite nights too - always remember getting scared in the haunted house and being amazed how they transformed it back to regular class rooms when it was all over.