Haunted house sets up on stadium’s west side

By Matt Carlson

Huskie Stadium is usually known for its football team, but this Halloween it will serve up a different type of scary as the new location of Haunted Huskies, a haunted house sponsored by Neptune Hall Council.

Typically, the haunted house takes place in the Neptune Hall basement, but due to reconstruction it will be held on the west side of Huskie Stadium. The haunted house is open 7:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday and 7 to 10 p.m. Friday.

The first 100 to 200 participants will receive a free shirt and a goody bag filled with candy.

“It’s always in Neptune North, but due to some of the rooms being closed down for reconstruction, the space was very limited,” said Maria Wojnicki, Residence Hall Association president.

Kalenna Kaske, Neptune Hall Council president, said the efforts of Kimberly Manno, seasonal events coordinator at the Campus Activities Board, helped secure Huskie Stadium as the new location for the haunted house.

“We wanted to make it bigger and better, and Kim [Manno] had connections with the Convo, so that’s how we got the stadium,” Kaske said. “We’re expecting 1,000 people for both nights combined. We’re pushing to push up the numbers; we want to make it bigger than it has been in the past.”

For more than two decades, Neptune has put on the haunted house.

“It’s been a tradition for 25 years for Neptune. Each hall has a signature program and this is Neptune’s,” Kaske said. “We’re hoping this year, by changing it, we can start a new legacy for it.”

Manno described the haunted house as a “figure-eight,” and she said attendees will be led by a tour guide.

“It’s going to be set up kind of like a maze. You’re going to start at the bottom and zig zag your way through and end at the other side,” Manno said.

Changing weather won’t affect the haunted house as attendees and actors will be under a roof.

“The way we have it set up is inside, so the people waiting in line will be dry, and the haunted house is inside so nothing will get ruined,” Manno said.

Some of the props used in the haunted house will be animatronics, and there will be different kinds of lighting. Most actors will be theatrical students. The haunted house is geared more toward college students, but anybody is able to attend.

“It’s usually NIU residents that live on campus, but we are leaving it open to DeKalb residents,” Kaske said. “We do advise that it may be a little creepy for kids.”

If children do attend, the actors will turn down the spook a little bit.

“Each tour group will look at the population of the group and inform the actors that kids are coming so they can downgrade it,” Wojnicki said.

The event is free to all who attend, but donations of canned goods or give-a-dollar are welcome and will go toward Feed’em Soup, a local charity.