Allerton organizes frights and fun for Halloween

Denise Wright

The sound of high-pitched screams and eerie music filled the air as wide-eyed Tiffany Reed, sophomore computer information systems major and Allerton Apartments resident, frantically opened the door of apartment 1158-F and ran out.

Reed was one of at least 20 to go through the haunted house at Allerton Friday night. Residents also participated in a party prior to that.

About 40 people were able to take part in costume and pumpkin-carving contests, among other activities. Although there was only one entry for the pumpkin-carving contest, many children were eager to dress up for the costume contest.

Nate Jeppson, who is currently studying for his doctorate in accounting and resides at Allerton with his family, said dressing up is his children’s favorite part of Halloween.

“They’re going to dress up two or three times this year,” Jeppson said. “We find any excuse we can to dress them up.”

Jeppson’s son Tony took home a prize for his soldier costume.

“The kids had a good time,” Jeppson said. “I think this (party) was also able to bring older residents from different backgrounds together.”

At about 8 p.m., attendees filtered out of the apartment and made their way to Building F to see the haunted house and the occupants who awaited them inside.

“Do we have any brave souls?” asked Deborah Campbell, resident manager of buildings F, J and K, and primary planner of the Halloween events, as residents neared the door to the haunted house.

Many residents were hesitant to enter the attraction.

“Some of us are pretty scared just standing here,” Jeppson said.

Although Jeppson and his family decided not to go into the apartment, many other residents did — including those with smaller children.

“The adults are more scared than the kids,” said Evita Gonzalez, sophomore biology major and Allerton resident.

Construction of the haunted house took about seven hours, and although residents were able to assist in planning, only workers were allowed to see the apartment before the event.

Zombie workers were Charles Dunn, head of the service committee for buildings F, J and K, and Joe Savary, freshman special education major. Campbell played the hostess, greeting visitors when they entered and directing them where to go once they were inside.

“I had fun laughing at everyone,” Campbell said.

Dunn agreed.

“I thought one boy was going to eat the door to get out,” he said.

Campbell said she thinks the events were a success because residents played a huge role in planning them.

“The only way you can pull it off is if you have residents helping you,” Campbell said.

While the Halloween party is held every year, Campbell said the haunted house was new this year. Residents came up with the idea in a committee meeting about a month ago.

“It’s really important to have the support of residents,” Campbell said. “Without them, you’d be sitting at the event by yourself.”

Allerton residents were also encouraged to give out candy and go trick-or-treating during Kent’s trick-or-treating yesterday from 3 to 5 p.m. Residents are also invited to participate in residence hall trick-or-treating this week.

Contact honors and international affairs reporter Denise Wright at [email protected].