UNC Greensboro’s Ashby College Haunted House returns for its 26th year this Halloween season, but scare-seekers can now enjoy the tradition as a first-person walkthrough video from home.
The haunted house is put on each year by residents of Ashby Residential College, an inclusive two-year program that offers a unique living and learning environment for a co-ed student community. The tradition began in 1995, at the initiative of two students, Andrea Davis and Ryan Harrison, who pitched the haunted house as an event to raise money for a local nonprofit.
This year, to celebrate the past 25 years of the tradition, viewers are invited to take a walk down a horrific memory lane with the theme “Night at the Foust Museum.”
A tour guide walks the viewer through the halls of Mary Foust Residence Hall, which has been transformed into a museum, as characters and scenes from the last decade of haunted houses come to life.
This year’s theme is particularly meaningful for residential college coordinator Dr. Will Dodson, who has supervised the haunted house student leadership for the past decade.
“I get to remember all the students that I’ve worked with and the hard work they have put in through the years, including all of their unique talents and triumphs. It’s been exciting to see the program grow, and I get to relive that growth with this year’s theme. The haunted house has seen record attendance for the past three years, and that’s a testament to the continuity of the program, the tradition, and the amazing student leaders that come out of Ashby who step up and do great things, even during a global pandemic.”
When the students began the planning process early in the spring semester, they had the idea of a slasher movie-inspired haunted house. But because of COVID-19, the students had to be flexible, and they had the idea of a virtual haunted house that utilized past props, costumes, and other paraphernalia.
The haunted house is entirely student-run, from the acting, to the special effects makeup, to the costumes and props, and to the screenwriting and videography. This year, sophomores Sarah Abell and Bethany Kessinger served as the haunted house’s co-chairs, recruiting students to write, act, and create special effects makeup looks. Junior Emma Albrecht served as the editor of the walk-through video, and paid homage to the last decade of haunted house themes by putting together footage from years past into a thrilling introduction. In total, 23 students worked together to bring “Night at the Foust Museum” to life.
“It’s nice seeing everyone in Ashby come together and work with each other to produce this,” said Abell. “It’s a stressful time for students because of the pandemic, but this gave us all an opportunity to bond and do an in-person activity.”
So turn off the lights, turn on your device, and watch “Night at the Foust Museum” below:
Story by Alexandra McQueen, University Communications
Photography by Alycee Byrd and James Claiborne
Videography by Emma Albrecht