WHS Connect Program plans annual haunted house


Credit: Julia Callini

The Connect Program at Wayland High School is planning their annual Haunted House set to take place on Sunday, October 27th. “We want to bring everyone together for a community wide event,” senior Zeke Betancourt said

Max Brande and Aiden Chitkara

Every year, the Connect Program at WHS puts together a haunted house for the community. This year’s haunted house will take place on Sunday, Oct. 27 in the Field House. The Connect Program wants this event to be remembered for years to come while keeping the event available to toddlers through young adults. 

“[We’re targeting] anywhere in the range from 3-20 years old,” senior Maddie Olstein said. 

The Connect Program is hoping to find a happy medium to suffice everyone, so it will warn young children but still try to scare everyone.

“It is going to be really scary,” senior Zeke Betancourt said. “Our target is to scare everyone, but we will warn elementary school kids beforehand so they don’t get too spooked.”

The Connect Program is a class that reaches out to the community throughout the year through different projects. In preparation for the haunted house, the program split into focus groups to prepare.

“For a couple of classes per week, we’ve met with focus groups,” Betancourt said. “I am in the haunted house group. There is an activities group, logistics group, and a few others.” 

The haunted house is the class’s community project for the quarter. Since Connect is a project-based class that is heavily focused on the community, members enjoy reaching out to help Wayland come together in intriguing ways.

“We try to do a community project every year and this is for the first quarter,” senior Cameron Jones said. “We have spent a lot of time planning, and we put in a lot of work for this event. We really hope it turns out well and we’re really excited for it.”

A massive community event like this takes a lot of preparation and planning. This is no issue for the Connect Program, as they have been preparing for this since the beginning of the year.

“I am working [with Zeke] in the haunted house planning committee,” Jones said. “We are planning and coordinating the actual haunted house. So one thing we did is we went into the locker rooms and mapped out where we wanted the path of the haunted house to go. So our next step is getting everything there and making sure everything runs smoothly.”

This year, the haunted house will have a lot going on inside of it. The Connect Program hopes to have a great event, especially with the help of some volunteers.

“We’ll have a bunch of people and a bunch of volunteers, as well as different lights and music,” Jones said. “We also have a lot of decorations that people have brought in and donated for us to use.”

While the physical planning is very important, the behind the scenes work and the logistics of planning the night are also very significant.

“We’ve spent a lot of class time working on this and I know a lot of people have made contributions outside of class and taking their own time to set things up and work out the smaller details,” Jones said. “A lot of time and effort has been put into this event.”

Traditionally, the haunted house is located in the upper and lower locker rooms in the field house. This year, the program is keeping to its traditions.

“We’re going to make a haunted house in both levels of the locker room,” Olstein said. “The plan is that the top half (girls locker room) is going to be lighter while the bottom half (boys locker room) will be pitch black and scarier. It is going to be for kids or adults.” 

This event means more than just a quarterly project for these students. The connect program wants to branch out to its community while making this a charitable event. 

“We’re trying to raise money for the program itself,” Olstein said.  “We also might donate money to charity. The goal is to also have fun!”