Reid basement haunted house canceled

COVID-19 regulations take away another popular LFA event


Photo by Jennifer Madeley

Some of the scarers gather inside the Reid basement, where the 2019 LFA Haunted House took place.

Angie Cotton, Managing Editor of Features

A recently growing tradition at LFA, every Halloween season, a group of faculty and staff, along with students set up a haunted house in the Reid basement, an event that many students at LFA enjoy attending for a good scare. However, the event was cancelled this year due to the complications brought upon by required social distancing (let’s face it: you’d want to have a friend to hold on to when you’re walking through a haunted house), as well as the increasing COVID-19 cases in Lake County. Nevertheless, it is still important to recognize what actually goes into setting up one of the most attended events at LFA.

Before going further, consider why the haunted house was cancelled last minute; the haunted house, originally having taken place in the Reid basement, did not seem to be able to comply with COVID regulations. This is because the Reid basement is such a small, confined, indoor space, without much ventilation. After deeming this location as one that wouldn’t be able to support the event given the situation, participating faculty decided to hold it outdoors in the Formal Gardens. 

Despite that, they also reasoned that it would be inevitable to have kids holding onto one another while going through the course, which is noncompliant to COVID guidelines. Along with that, they’d only be able to let students go in groups of two, allowing a mere 24 people to go in per hour. Compared to previous years’ attendance in triple digits, allowing this few kids in per hour would not be an efficient method.

But what actually goes into all this planning, whether there’s a pandemic going on or not? Even though some thought is put into the event throughout the school year, the actual planning doesn’t start until about a week before the event.

Part of the planning involves having “to find a path that would be safe for everyone, that no one can get hurt at any point. You have to make them feel trapped without actually being trapped,” as Tyler Madeley, English teacher and organizer of the haunted house, mentioned. 

When it comes to actually setting up and building the set, Emily Kalis, one of the scarers, points out that “because it’s been in the Reid basement, it’s kind of creepy in itself, so not much actually needs to be done.” Instead, most of the time and effort goes into each individual character’s makeup.

Despite not being able to host this yearly event this time around, being able to see what goes into making it will definitely have the LFA community looking forward to the event next year!