Haunted Palouse is back for its 17th year of frightening fun, made possible by dozens of spirited volunteers. For those who haven’t been, this year’s array of haunted houses ensures a spine-chilling first venture. Anyone aged 12 and up are invited to make their way through the houses for a small fee of $20 that goes to support local organizations, such as the skate park and the gardens of Palouse.
Truly, the community has always been at the heart of Haunted Palouse. It was founded 16 years ago to fund the reopening of the Roy Chatters Newspaper and Printing museum (which had the misfortune of being subject to the worst flood in Palouse on record). The event attracts many people, increasing sales for the local businesses. Half of the funds raised go toward the City of Palouse itself.
Today, the 4-H Palouse Area Robotics Team hopes to fund their future season with an ambitious haunted house; to go along with the usual masquerading actors and jump-scare mechanisms, they’ve constructed an illuminated vortex for the entrance, the house’s crown jewel. “Haunted Palouse is the most important fundraiser for our club,” insists a programmer on the robotics team, Meghna Dutta. “Without it, we can’t do many of the competitions we look forward to each season. We have to go all out.” After a month of tireless labor, it’s ready to frighten an unsuspecting public.
According to the team, comprised of both PART Sciborgs and skate park volunteers, being a scarer can be just as exciting as being scared. The work involves either acting in costume or activating traps in the haunted house. To the volunteers, getting a good reaction is priceless. The most fun comes when the inebriate college student makes the bold decision to clumsily navigate the purposefully disorienting hallways, easily startled by a sudden scream or a shaky floor. Of course, there are those who point out all the tricks while passing through the rooms, ruining the fun. Luckily, they can’t keep it up past the halfway point; in the end, the house always wins.
If you’re looking for a thrilling new adventure this Halloween, Haunted Palouse waits for you. If you attended the event last year – come again! The theme changes annually, making every year a novel experience, better than its predecessor. This year features Unearthly Creatures, including scares inspired by movies and shows such as Predator and Doctor Who. Hard-working students from PHS, CHS and MHS have made certain to make this year the spookiest yet. The event is open Friday, October 26th and Saturday, October 27th from 7-10PM, so make plans while you have the opportunity. Support the Palouse by braving the Palouse!