Presque Isle HS Class of 2015 resurrects haunted house

11 years ago

Presque Isle HS Class of 2015

resurrects haunted house

By Jennifer Buzza
Special to The Star-Herald

    PRESQUE ISLE — It has been over 10 years since a haunted house was held inside the Aroostook Centre Mall. The ambitious, hard-working junior class at Presque Isle High School changed that this October when they opened the doors of their “Haunting at the Mall.”

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Buzza

    ACCORDING TO MANY VISITORS of the Presque Isle High School Class of 2015’s haunted house, one of the scarier rooms featured the zombie pageant. Contestants attacked the newly crowned “zombie queen,” then turned their anger on the “judges.” Stopping their performance for the photo were, from left: pageant judge Jessica Cameron, pageant contestants Alana Luong, Emma Langille and Alexis Bell; and Keegan Ennis, pageant judge.


    ONE OF THE ROOMS in Presque Isle High School’s Class of 2015’s haunted house featured a dining room and “Killer Kitchen.” Pictured in front are, from left: class members and “zombie diners” Kate Leavitt and Frances Mendieta-Castro. Being “served” in the grill is Miranda Flannery and the “grill master” was Isaac Michaud. Over 50 members of the junior class volunteered their time and talents to the haunted house that was held at the Aroostook Centre Mall.


    JUNIORS at Presque Isle High School sponsored the first indoor haunted house that the Aroostook Centre Mall has seen in over 10 years. Here, creepy operating room doctor Ryan Lavway prepares to push bloodied patient Kelsey Gilson in a wheel chair. Over 500 visitors walked through the haunted house that was held over two weekends last month raising over $2,600 for the class.  FS-PIHS HAUNTED HOUSE-CLR-DC3X-SH-45

    With the support of Patti Crooks, mall manager and her staff, the students began creating their scary scenes in the 7,000 square foot space in September. The bulk of the work was completed during the school’s annual three-week harvest break.
    Once the work was completed, Greg Day of the State Fire Marshal’s Office took a tour, complimented the class on a job well done, and approved their certificate to open their doors. According to Day, indoor haunted houses are rare because of the large space needed and the amount of rules and regulations that must be followed in order to open to the public.
    This year’s house featured a clown room, zombie pageant room, morgue, operating room, kitchen and dining room, funeral scene, exorcism, guillotine, fortuneteller, cemetery and several “scarers” lurking in the shadows. Over 50 members of the junior class volunteered their time setting up, decorating, and serving as actors and actresses in the house. The site was open Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 25-27, providing 24 hours of thrills, chills and lots of screams — for both visitors and the actors.
    “I loved being here!” said junior class member Jordan Humphrey, who served as a tour guide during the weekends. Junior Cheyenne Judkins shared, “I thought it was cool how our class worked together to make it all happen.” Judkins volunteered as a zombie “scarer,” and even convinced her family to fill the roles of the family in the creepy dining room. “They are awesome; I can’t say enough nice things about them.”
    Crooks said she was pleased with the students’ dedication to the project.
    “It’s been a treat to get to know the kids. It’s been a great partnership,” she said. “There are real leaders in this group. These kids are great!”
    Over 500 dared to enter the haunted house, raising over $2,600, with proceeds benefiting the class. The tradition at PIHS is for each class to work for four years raising money to cover their prom expenses their senior year. The class also had the support from several PIHS freshmen and sophomores, who earned community service hours for their efforts. In addition, a handful of friends from other local schools volunteered to dress up to play various scary roles.
    “It’s a nice thing to do for the community,” said zombie pageant contestant Alana Luong. “We really came together as a class,” shared fortuneteller Brynn Staples. The students enjoyed scaring classmates, other teens and adults (some were family members) during their time in the haunted house. One of their favorite visitors to the house was PIHS Principal Donna Lisnik. She toured the house during the second weekend and was truly impressed with students’ efforts.
    “I am so impressed with the students from the Class of 2015 who constructed and manned the Halloween Haunted House at the Aroostook Centre Mall. I love haunted houses so I wanted to experience this firsthand and I was not disappointed,” Lisnik said. “It was creative, well-constructed, and the ghouls and goblins were great actors. The special effects were well done, the makeup was amazing and they actually scared me which seemed to make the students all very happy.
    “A great deal of time, effort and thought went into this project and I want to congratulate Mrs. Buzza, their adviser, and the students involved for providing an entertaining activity for the community,” she said.