The Friday night rain and foggy mist only added to the spooky vibe as Jessie Doe Hall hosted its 24th annual Haunted House event held entirely in the annex of the residential dorm located on 24 Ballard Street.
The dorm was transformed into a haunted house prior to students and members of the community lining up in hopes to get a quick scare from the popular UNH attraction. This annual tradition held in the residential dorm allows students and community members to act and hide throughout the basement to the second floor of the building, as a tour-guide escorts groups throughout the hall.
“I did not know what to expect,” UNH junior Joe Green said. “It was clear that a lot of work went into the event.”
As for the downpour that occurred during the event, the UNH community was not held back from attending.
“The rain was crazy, it was certainly an obstacle but it did not affect my time there,” Green said.
Students are encouraged to get involved with the community event, as it plays a larger role than just scaring the public. Members from groups such as the ‘Cat Pack, fraternities and past Jessie Doe residents work together to help set up the event.
Three-year Jessie Doe resident and Haunted House Chair member Joey Groch explained his role in the project.
“I got involved by attending hall council meetings, I started with the haunted house my freshman year in 2014 as a way to get my foot in the door with dorm activities,” Groch said.
Last year, the haunted house attracted close to 500 people, an all-time record. Due to the storms, the numbers didn’t reach that high this year, although those involved said that they had a blast putting together the attraction.
“My favorite part of the haunted house is how it’s nothing but chaos the whole time leading up to it, but the day of it just all comes together,” Groch said.
Recent UNH graduate and past Jessie Doe resident Michael Cicale was able to reflect back on his time involved with the haunted house.
“As a resident of Jessie Doe Hall my freshman year at UNH, I was able to meet some of the greatest friends I have come to know in my life,” Cicale said. “The haunted house was a way to make memories and even more friends. It’s been an annual tradition forever, and to have our name in the books is also pretty cool.”
Aside from the social benefits, the haunted house also plays a major role in serving the community. The cost for attendees to enter was either $3 or three canned goods; all the proceeds from this year went to the Waysmeet Center and Cornucopia Food Pantry.
Cicale had some advice for other UNH students who may have interest in setting up similar events: “Spread the word, and get into the spirit. Set up bulletin boards, post table tents in the dining halls, pass out flyers,” he said. “If you do it with your friends and don’t take it too seriously, it ends up being a swell time.”