Haunted Lab full of fright


Scary pig and students posing at the Haunted Lab on Saturday night. Photo by Nicholas Nelson/The Dakota Student.

Scares were never in short supply at the 12th annual Haunted Lab, hosted by the Forensic Science Club on the fourth floor of O’Kelly Hall Saturday night.

Haunted house patrons were treated to a dimly lit maze followed by a seemingly endless hall filled with many terrifying scenes, including eviscerated bodies and human sacrifices.

This year’s haunted forest theme was inspired by horror movies such as “The Cabin in the Woods,” and featured several maniacal rooms with all sorts of ghastly images. From bloody hatchets to insane nurses, the Haunted Lab had it all.

“People always have fun, but it’s hard to get the word out,” coordinator Courtney Schaub said. “We are always trying to keep it fresh, and stay up to date on what’s the scariest. We try not to repeat stuff.”

Given its frightening past, the atmosphere of the fourth floor of O’Kelly Hall is already perfect for a haunted house.

“It actually used to be a morgue, and this is where the cadavers were held,” senior Bailey Hoffman reported. “It’s really creepy to be up here, even when all of the Haunted Lab stuff isn’t up.”

Several members of the club had previous experience working in haunted houses, and they all put on a genuinely terrifying display.

“It was extremely realistic,” remarked Suzanne Cookman, who attended the Haunted Lab. “The makeup was incredible.”

Though it is clear the members of the club thoroughly enjoy frightening people, they tone it back for kids that come through.

“We gauge the scares based on the age of the people coming in,” said Schaub. “We’re not completely heartless.”

But the actors were not the only hair-raising part of the Haunted Lab. Blood and bones were always within arm’s reach throughout the entirety of the experience.

“It was easy to forget you were in a school building,” noted freshmen Lucas Milner. “Everything about it was incredibly creepy.”


Admission was $5 per person, with all of the proceeds helping to pay for the club’s trip to the American Academy of Forensic Science in Orlando, Fla. this February.

The Forensic Science Club attends the American Academy of Forensic Science event every year, where they learn about the newest developments in the field of forensics.

“The event brings in professionals from around the world,” said senior Bailey Hoffman. “It’s all very interesting.”

Though the club consists mainly of Forensic Science and Criminal Justice majors, anyone that is interested may join. It meets bi-weekly, spending most of the first semester planning out the Haunted Lab. However, the club members spent all of last week turning the top floor of O’Kelly hall into a chamber of horrors.

The Haunted Lab will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight on October 29, 30 and 31. Everyone ages 10 and up are welcome to attend. This is the biggest event the group puts on, and many of the people that show up are repeat customers.

“This is what we’re known for, so we always make sure it goes off without a hitch,” Schaub said. “Being a coordinator, it’s great to see it all come together.”

Brendan McCabe is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].