It’s a Scream: First Monte Vista Haunted School House Fundraiser Will Give Visitors Thrills and Chills for a Good Cause, Thursday and Friday, Oct. 29-30
Student Designers, Builders and Performers Create Professional-Style Haunted House; Kid Friendly Fall Festival Saturday, Oct. 31
Dozens of Monte Vista High School students are waiting to give you a frightfully good time from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., this Thursday, Oct. 29, and Friday, Oct. 30, at the first ever Haunted School House fundraiser, presented by the Drama and Leadership classes, and co-sponsored by Danville.com and highschoolink.com.
The haunted house, located on the Monte Vista campus, 3131 Stone Valley Rd., Danville, was completely designed, built, painted and decorated by more than 50 students, and many of them will be performing in makeup throughout the house to send chills up guests’ spines. The event is appropriate for about age 12 and up, and costs $7 per person, $5 with a MV ASB card.
Younger kids can tour the lighted house without performers for free at the Halloween Fall Festival the next morning, Oct. 31, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The festival features face painting, pumpkin decorating, trick or treating and other fun activities, and while free, donations are appreciated. Kids are encouraged to come in costume.
Brave souls who enter the Haunted School House on Thursday and Friday nights will enjoy a maze full and twists and turns, with delightfully scary surprises throughout. Visitors pass through 20 different themed “classrooms,” including Biology, where some dissecting is underway, a Health Class featuring skeleton students, an Art Room decorated with creepy clowns, a Day Care room filled with haunted children and spooky dolls, a scary bathroom scene, a food-fight plagued cafeteria, and even a Senior Prom from the 1930s where dancing specters invite visitors to dance.
In addition to raising money for the Drama and Leadership classes, the Haunted School House is a continuation of a recent Danville Halloween tradition, the annual Brightwood Manor Home Haunted House created by Monte Vista junior and entrepreneur Casey Rickey. Casey started the tradition in 2011 by building a haunted house display every Halloween at his family’s home. Rickey’s father, Pat Rickey, says the display got bigger and bigger each year; approximately 750 people visited last year alone. Realizing the display had outgrown their home, they started searching for commercial venues to continue the tradition.
Monte Vista Drama teacher Chris Connor, who was looking to do a fundraiser that involved students’ talents, suggested Casey team up with the Drama department and Leadership class to bring the haunted house to the school. Monte Vista’s new principal, Dr. Kevin Ahern, approved the project.
“The kids have been fantastic,” Pat Rickey says. “They initially thought it was going to be a smaller scale event, but they quickly realized that the quality of the props and themes, the music and acting, rivals even professional haunted houses. It’s fairly large-scale for their first year.”
Students have worked feverishly for the last two weeks, first constructing 120 4x8 panels that make up the maze, carefully supervised by Casey and Pat, followed by painting and decorating each room using props students collected from around the community. Students from the AP Art Class painted the six- to seven-foot tall clowns.
While the school paid for some materials, sponsorship and a donation by Danville.com enabled students to bring the haunted house to life. It includes a sophisticated LED lighting system, a sound system, and more. The plan is to repeat the fundraiser next year with all new themes, reusing materials from this year.
Casey’s company, highschoolink.com, an online t-shirt and clothing design and printing service, is also sponsoring the fundraiser. He started his first graphic design and printing company, CGS Prints, at age 11, and since that time has successfully started two other companies, highschoolink.com and Danville City Signs.
Due to a football game on campus Friday night, parking will be limited. It’s recommended parties get dropped off at the school before parking offsite.