Haunted houses spook
by Sofia Cuevas
graphic by Emily Duong
Whether from a chilling breeze or the changing of fall colors, or ultimately from the spine-tingling sensation of making one’s way through a haunted house maze, students may tangibly feel Halloween approaching.
The spooky season is here and per usual it welcomes the scares and screams coming from many haunted houses. One such frightening event will be held by seniors Brianna Alanis and Alexander Azarov. This is the second year that the pair will be holding their haunted house walk-through at Alanis’ residence in Boyle Heights.
“I think it really started when my mom used to do haunted houses at the YMCA, but later on I guess we just kind of moved it back home,” said Alanis. “We used to decorate but we didn’t do walk-throughs until last year.”
The pair explained that they have enjoyed the holiday from a young age with encouragement from their parents.
“I think I just wanted to make an experience where people could feel like they were part of it and really get into what we did,” said Alanis.
During their sophomore year Alanis invited Azarov to hang out together on Halloween to scare trick-or-treaters who came to her house.
“Bri on Halloween was like ‘Oh you should come over to my house we’re just going to scare people in the front yard and I said ‘I mean I’m not doing anything and it sounds really fun,’” said Azarov.
The pair spent about a month and a half to set up the maze that runs through the yard and patio. They tried to spare expenses by reusing old props and taking care of the materials they already had, but still spent roughly $100.
“We are very organized with what we do so we like to take care of props. Some of the things we use to scare people—such as masks to make dummies or jumpsuits and clothing—is more than 10 years old,” stated Alanis, “Many props we’ve been collecting over the years, so we make use of what we have.”
Within the span of a few hours the maze usually attracts around 150 visitors, however with so many guests there is still time to goof around.
“There’s a lot of things that happen backstage that the guests don’t get to see which creates a lot of laughs and memories,” explained Azarov.
Alanis and Azarov will graduate in June but will continue to put on the attraction as often as possible.
“I think we will keep doing this in the future, it might not be as often as we want it to be but definitely we will do this again and again for years,” explained Alanis.
Their house does have a set of rules that ask guests to keep their hands to themselves and to avoid alcohol and drug use while in the maze. They have had to remove people from the maze and were not pleased in having to see them out.
“We had a guest come in last year who was drunk,” stated Azarov, “it gets really frustrating because people know we can’t touch them, so as the scare actors, why should we have to worry about it being the other way around.”