Haunted wRECk to scare youngsters tonight

Sean Ammerman

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center will undergo a transformation tonight.

In honor of Halloween, the entire facility will morph into a haunted house from 6 to 8 p.m., aptly called the Haunted wRECk.

It is a free trick-or-treat event aimed at the community and focusing more toward families with younger children. Paula Murray, assistant director of membership and marketing, said this is one of the yearly events when the rec center does something for the community.

“It’s just a way for us to open our doors,” Murray said. “We try to do different things – where we allow the community in to check the place out and have something fun for them to do.”

Once the guests are admitted, they will be taken along a path that goes through the building into different areas that are decorated in scary ways. Children will then get candy and other goodies from staff members who dress up in costumes. Meagen Cougill, marketing assistant at the rec center, said it should take between 25 and 30 minutes to get through the entire thing.

At the end of their journey, the guests vote for which area was the scariest. It is up to the staff of each department to do their best job, Cougill said, so the departments like to keep what they are doing a secret.

“It’s nice for staff camaraderie because whoever wins gets bragging rights for the year,” she said.

Last year, she said they built a maze arranged so that when the guests finished it, there would be a person who dropped from the rock-climbing wall (connected to a harness of course). That got the biggest scare, she said.

“The older kids – they definitely can get a few good scares out of them,” Murray said. “We try to have to option of going through it in a non-scary way.”

This will be the fifth year the rec center has hosted the event. Last year, Murray said more than 700 people attended, which created a problem for those who had to wait.

“We had a line that went all the way to the street,” she said. “We loved the response but we didn’t want to have people waiting that long.”

She said she hopes to have as many visitors this year, but they moved the registration area so people will not have to wait in the cold.

They will also have activities for the children in line, including a balloon-maker and a table set up for trick-or-treat bags to be decorated. Murray said this should make waiting more bearable for children who can not sit still.

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness Center reporter Sean Ammerman at [email protected].