The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 1, 2013

Fright abounds at haunted high school fundraiser

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — FULTON, Ill. — Halloween has come and gone, and children have fulfilled their candy desires, but students at Fulton High School are not ready to retire the Halloween spirit just yet.

For the fourth time since 2008, students and faculty are presenting the Haunted School, a spooky and terrifying Halloween experience through the halls and underbelly of Fulton High School.

The Haunted School will be open today and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. for $7 per person. All are welcome to the Halloween event, but students warn those who are easily frightened that the school is filled with things of nightmares.

“We try to make it as realistic and scary as possible,” student council adviser Jeff Hoese said.

Hoese and his partner, industrial technology teacher Chris Grant, are the lead advisers for the project, but the students are the real masterminds behind the concept, construction and creepiness of the Haunted School.

“We have 17 student council members that each came up with their own haunt. They plan the room, we give them a budget and then they’re responsible for buying the props,” Hoese said. “Then students in Mr. Grant’s class build the entire thing.”

More than 70 percent of the student body at Fulton High School had a hand in creating the Haunted School, whether it was building the set, designing the costumes or working the haunt, everyone had a chance to get involved.

“Students that generally do not hang out, for whatever reason, are working side by side toward a common goal,” Grant said. “Never has there been trouble and when complete, they are all one proud team. It’s truly amazing that such a dark holiday brings the student body and community together so much.”

With a project as complex and detailed as transforming a high school into a full-scale haunted house, complications are bound to arise, which is why Hoese and Grant planned a soft launch on Wednesday to work out any kinks prior to the grand opening.

“Today is a much better feeling than (Wednesday) night. A lot of loose ends needed to be finished up (but), we’re going to make it,” Grant said. “Each year it is a huge push right before opening night, but the kids always come through. It definitely teaches them that deadlines, no pun intended, are important.”

The money raised at the Haunted School event will go toward the student council budget to help fund events and programs for the remainder of the year, but none as grand as the Haunted School.

“This is the biggest student council fundraiser of the year and it is one of the most engaging events we have at (Fulton High School),” Hoese said. “It’s definitely unique and students look forward to it every year.”