Student monsters at Statesville elicit fright, laughter

Seniors Corey Micheals and Jude Mendoza try on costumes at rehearsal.

Jude Mendoza, Staff Writer

Known as one of the best haunted houses in the state, Statesville Haunted Prison is a great place for any thrill seeker. But there’s more to Statesville than the makeup and costumes.
It is a community of people who come together every year to put on a show, and I’m proud to be part of that community. Most people would be surprised at how much time and planning goes into making Statesville what it is.
The preparation of the annual show starts way before actors even audition. Within Statesville’s online web series “Days of the Living Dead,” John Laflamboy, director, says they can start preparing as early as June. But what truly makes the magic happen is the 100 plus actors that make up the Statesville crew.
All actors audition where they are put into groups and given improv situations with the sole goal being not to scare the managers, but to make them laugh. All the managers make it known that without the makeup and decorations, we look ridiculous, and actors are encouraged to embrace the ridiculous nature of the haunt before we try and be “scary.” Afterall, not everyone can be scared but everyone can be entertained.
There are also mandatory acting classes for everyone who is hired to make sure all performances are authentic and more importantly entertaining.
Before opening day, there are multiple rehearsals to make sure every actor is comfortable with their spot in the haunt. All aspects of the show are practiced and executed before the first customers of the year step into the house. Statesville is a well-oiled machine where all involved are invested into creating the best show possible. Several students are on the cast.
“Working at Statesville is a unique experience that is both fun and challenging,” Corey Micheals, senior, said. Micheals says one of his favorite parts of Statesville is scaring people who walk through the haunt.
My favorite position in Statesville is actually lining the costumers up in the Warden’s Room before they go into the house. When you line up costumers, you determine the rate at which they go through the haunt.
With all the work and passion put into Statesville, we do hope you decide to join us this Halloween season.