Casper student council's haunted house benefits Make-A-Wish

2011-10-27T23:45:00Z Casper student council's haunted house benefits Make-A-WishBy JACKIE BORCHARDT Casper Star-Tribune The Billings Gazette
October 27, 2011 11:45 pm  • 

CASPER, Wyo. — Rumor has it a ghost haunts the Natrona County High School auditorium.

The most popular story is that a female actress in the 1940s fell (from a window, into the orchestra pit) and died.

Records from the Casper College Western History Center debunk the tale but not the eerie, uneasy feeling one gets while sitting alone in the dark theater.

The auditorium will be haunted for certain Friday night and Saturday for a Halloween fundraiser by the Natrona County High student council.

This is the group's third attempt at a haunted house on school grounds. Two years ago, it started planning too late. Last year, everything was set to go until the fire marshal said their plans didn't meet new haunted house guidelines developed from the International Association of Haunted Attractions — the official association of the haunted house industry.

The new rules and required application have led to fewer haunted houses, Casper Fire Department officials said. Six organizations completed the necessary paperwork to host an attraction this year, but all are pending a final inspection by the fire marshal.

This year, it's happening at the school. Organizers submitted a floor plan and plans for every type of emergency — fire, loss of power, bomb threat.

"It will be scary, but safe," senior Brigit Kelly said.

The haunted house is set up in the auditorium and surrounding area -- a space that many students, teachers and alumni have probably never visited, Kelly said.

More than 30 students volunteered to scare visitors. Without spoiling the surprises, there will be fog, scary lights, dead students, dead teachers -- a lot of dead people.

"It's got everything you'd see in a school -- well, not really," Kelly said.

Proceeds from the attraction go to the Make-A-Wish program for Natrona County High students battling terminal illnesses. Thrill-seekers can cut $2 off the $5 admission price by bringing a can of food to be donated to Joshua's Storehouse.

There are no age restrictions, but the event might not be appropriate for younger children, said Mary Ann Chavez, Natrona County High campus supervisor.

"You want to be scared in a haunted house -- you don't want to walk out and say, 'That was lame,'" Chavez said.

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