Theatre with paranormal activity puts on haunted house

Gannon University’s Honors Theatre Fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega, held a haunted theatre experience on Thursday, Friday and Saturday that featured about 30 of the student body’s talented actors and actresses.

The attraction followed a “haunted church” theme and was held at the Schuster Theater, which used to be a church and claims to exhibit actual paranormal activity on occasion.

Alpha Psi Omega’s haunted church boasted a respectable turn out, with most of its business occurring during the first two days, and included classic gags such as ghouls popping out of coffins, creepy 1950s doo wop and violent baptisms performed by an evil priest.

Zach Hyman, a freshman theatre and communications major, and Erika Krenn, a senior Psychology major and community outreach chair for Alpha Psi Omega, both volunteered their acting talents.

Hyman, who played the aforementioned role as a demented, and from the sounds of it, quite sadistic and evil priest, said he enjoyed his task quite a bit.

“In the beginning I got to jump out and grab the tour guide,” he said. “It was my favorite part because it really scared the people and for me it was fun to see how much I could scare them.”

Krenn, on the other hand, who admitted that her role as Wednesday Addams from “The Addams Family” wasn’t nearly as frightening as characters like Hyman’s twisted priests, she said that she was still able to find pleasure in the other performers getting the best of their patrons.

“It sounds weird, but I liked knowing what was about to happen to people, and then hearing them scream,” she said.

Krenn also mentioned a brief power outage on Halloween night that proved to be the scariest part of the experience.

“I was really scared,” she said. “I think it was actually just as scary for the actors as it was for the customers.”

The weekend’s festivities weren’t all scary, though. According to Hyman, there was also a good deal of laughs.

He said at one point, the tour guide told the group to start praying, and one of the groups that were coming through actually started praying.

“I thought that was hilarious,” he said.

Hyman, who is only a freshman, is already very excited for the chance to participate next year.

“APO did a great job,” he said. “Every year has a different theme, so I can’t wait to see what they think up for the next one.” “I think the scariest part about a haunted house is when you’re in the dark, or if there’s a strobe light and fog, because you can’t see anything and don’t have any clue what’s about to happen to you,” he said.

“I think an amusement park or carnival theme, like the one in the new season of ‘American Horror Story’, could incorporate a lot of those elements,” he said. “Now that would be really creepy.”

CHARLES LEAR, [email protected]