By: Ainsley Northrop
Making its annual appearance, the Los Gatos Haunted House impressed countless residents on Halloween night. Each year, LGHS students work together to create this chilling attraction for the trick-or-treaters on Johnson Avenue.
One of the key planners of the event is junior Ashton Ross, who has helped run the haunted house since he was in middle school. He detailed: “It was a very long process of a lot of brainstorming with my friends…we created a [rough] blueprint…and we were basically like ‘we’re going to build it and just see what comes out of this.’” After drawing up basic plans for this year, the students began refining the details of their set-up. Junior Alexander Hodgson, who has been an avid planner of the event for three years, described the house, saying “We kind of went for an abandoned building type thing, but we didn’t have a specific theme in mind when making it.”
One of the first and most grueling steps in constructing the attraction was assembling the walls. This year, the team condensed the overall structure in order to optimize the space. Ross explained, “This year was different than others [because] the decoration was a lot better, and it was a lot more immersive [with] a lot more attention to small details…we also added roofs so it was a lot more claustrophobic and the hall was really tight. We had hallways that [wound around] a lot more. It felt a lot longer for a lot of people going through it, even though it took the same amount of space.”
In the weeks preceding Halloween, the friends gathered each weekend they could, working countless hours to perfect their project. Because many who worked on it were juniors, it was more difficult to balance the commitment with school and other activities than in past years. Ross explained, “I basically just got all my homework done and got straight to work [on the haunted house]. I stayed up a little bit later than I [normally] would just to get that all done, but I think it was worth it.”
When Halloween arrived, the students selected roles to play throughout the house and braced themselves for the eager crowd of trick-or-treaters. Hodgson detailed, “It’s a bit impromptu usually. People just kind of pick what they want to do. Some people make a choice and they do it the whole night. Some people move around a lot. It really depends on what they want to do.” The haunted house is a main attraction of the street; every year, without fail, it boasts a line spanning across the street. Hodgson exclaimed, “We’re always surprised about how many people show up.”
In addition to their goal of giving Los Gatos residents a fright, the group raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, an organization particularly important to Ross. This year, the students proudly raised over 300 dollars for the cause.
Ross concluded, “One of my neighbors walked up to me the other day while I was taking it down to just thank me for providing this to the community and I’m really grateful that [we] can do such a thing and there’s so much support around it.” Be sure to keep an eye out for these outstanding students’ next projects, and give the Los Gatos Haunted House a visit next year.
Categories: Local News