To Scare or To Be Scared


Chittyville Haunted House offers a variety of entertainment, including the haunted house and escape rooms.

Kayce Glenn, Staff Writer

In Southern Illinois, the fall season is a time for pumpkins, changing leaves, and dropping temperatures. It is also a time to begin thinking about switching the wardrobes and preparing for the cold winter months ahead.  For some students, fall is also a time to begin to participate in the haunting season. Halloween has many traditions and for most high school students, a good scare is in their future.  With many haunted houses within an hour’s drive, students find themselves standing in line waiting for these thrilling opportunities.  However, some students take this adventure to the next level and become part of the entertainment.

This year, CHS juniors, Ayla Watts, Kelsey Harrison, and Hannah Lavender traded in their spectator roles and became part of the cast at Chittyville School’s Haunted House. Chittyville is wildly popular due to it being the closest haunted house to Carterville. It draws large crowds of visitors from all over, including several nearby states. Each year, Chittyville grows in size as it creates new storylines and scary attractions, thus needing new actors and actresses to carry out the weekly October haunts. Many of these individuals are volunteers and high school students are particularly attracted to this part-time job.

“I wanted to participate because it was a volunteer thing and so it would be harder for them to get people to work so I decided to help out. My friends were also going so I went with them. I also loved the idea of getting to scare people” said Watts. Chittyville is filled with all types of creatures from werewolves to zombies and skeletons and clowns.  Ayla was a clown for the nights that she volunteered and assisted in scaring patrons as they moved through the haunted school.

“Volunteering at a haunted house was one of my favorite experiences. I got to channel a creepy character the entire night and I really enjoyed acting!” said Lavender. She encourages anyone who enjoys acting to consider it in the future.

The trio of girls agreed that the most challenging part of being a cast member at Chittyville was working with the limited schedule. The haunted house was only open on weekends in October, which is a busy time for high schoolers like Watts, Harrison, and Lavender. Due to participation in the CHS Marching band, they were only able to fit in time for some scarring on Saturdays.

While Chittyville School is the area’s most well-known haunted house, new haunted houses are starting to appear. The Sinister Haunted House in De Soto, Illinois was also at the top of many students’ lists to attend. Addasyn Kell (10), along with some of her friends also participated in scaring haunted house attendees. “I have played a couple of different roles. I am really all over the place, just filling spots that we needed…” said Kell.

Many of the haunted houses were open every weekend of the month up until Saturday, October 30, the night before Halloween. Many of the student actors are looking forward to taking part again next year, as this year was too much fun to stop. “I had a bit of a sore throat afterward from screaming at the people that walked through the haunted house, but it was totally worth it,” said Harrison. Next year, be ready to see many student actors scaring you at a haunted house.