Heritage Theater Debuts a Fantastic Halloween Asylum

By: Jo Rochelle

As soon as October first rolls around, people all around the world begin preparations for the last day of the month: Halloween. The shelves of stores fill with orange and black decorations, bags of candy go on sale, and costume ideas flood the internet. Also, for those members of society who need a little more to get into the spooky mood, scary movie marathons and haunted houses crop up everywhere. One such haunted house could be found inside Heritage High School’s auditorium the last two weekends of the month, known as The Asylum.

I walked into the darkened theater, greeted by the sounds of screams from somewhere further inside. Turning the corner, I followed my brother down the ramp, holding my breath in anticipation. A boy jumped out from behind the other side of the wall, bellowing. My cries melded with those of the rest of the group to create a symphony of horror. Continuing on, we approached a reception desk. “Come closer,” one girl crooned. The other girl slammed on the desk, screaming, “Come closer!” Rather than do that (I wasn’t dying that day), I backtracked and turned another corner, encountered something lying on the floor. Closer inspection revealed that something to be a someone. He started sliding across the floor, towards us–but we screamed so loud that he got up and slunk away. We wound our way through the corridors of the asylum, myself going first now. There were patients yelling, crying, and stepping out from the shadows. We made our way onto the stage, only to be met in the wing by a clown with a baseball bat. We scrambled the heck out of there, only to enter a “ward” lined with beds. Girls were seated on the beds, rocking back and forth, calling for help and asking us to “play” with them. Next, we came to an area with curtains set only about a foot apart on either side. Bodiless hands reached from behind the curtains, whispering “Help me,” while my group crept single file through the space. After a few more minutes of screaming and running for our lives, we burst out of the auditorium and into the cool night air. We’d braved the asylum and survived.

The Asylum was much better than I expected from a high school production. Heritage theater students, under Mr. Phoebus’s direction, never cease to amaze me! It was an invaluable experience to be able to take a break from reality, step into a haunted house, and have the scare of my life. Though The Asylum may be over now, worry not; Heritage Theater’s performance of Footloose will be coming later this winter, and I’m sure it will be fantastic!