Behind the scenes of UB’s Haunted Union
The Haunted Union is a transformation of our everyday space into a spooky, terrifying maze.
“It was actually scarier than I thought it would be,” said Austin Nagelhout, a sophomore media study major. “I thought since it was a low-budget school event it wouldn’t be that fun, but I really enjoyed it.”
The Haunted Union is put together through Late Night UB. This year’s Haunted Union theme was “hotel,” based on what students are interested in. The event takes time to plan and weeks to set up for just a few days of scares.
Joey Hitchcock, the graduate assistant for Late Night Programming, said there’s a lot of unseen work by students to put together all of these major UB events.
“The members of the program are students themselves, so they look at what they like and what their friends like and the interest on campus,” Hitchcock said.
Set up for this event began as early as Oct. 16. Each student member has been working hard in creating and decorating rooms, making sure lighting is okay and ensuring that the entire house is wheel chair accessible. Students have also been marketing for this event through social media, handing out flyers and putting posters up throughout the school.
With long lines are projected for the entire weekend, Late Night UB has created a “fast-pass” lane that will allow students to skip the line if they bring in a canned food item for charity. Hitchcock explains that giving back to a charity is important to both him and the program.
“In general, we forget why we’re doing things. We are doing this for students, but at the same time, there are other people that don’t have opportunities that we do. So this is really for a good cause,” Hitchcock said.
Hitchcock explains that a lot of the events that happen at UB have been around for years, like the Haunted Union event, which happens every year around Halloween. Some events, however, do change from year to year based on what is trending and what the student program members feel will bring the most attention to the events.
“They used to do a foam pit party at opening weekend, but this year we decided to do an EDM paint party because times are changing and the wants of students are changing,” Hitchcock said.
After all of the time and hard work that has gone into planning this event, Hitchcock says that he is excited to see it all come together. Hitchcock attended the event as an undergrad but now has a different look into what goes into the planning.
“I just didn’t realize how much time goes into this,” Hitchcock said. “As an undergrad, we think these events just happen, but there’s people behind it and people working their tails off.”
Dylan Rosales, a senior international trade major, works as the logistics officer for Late Night UB. Rosales designed one of the 10 rooms in the Haunted Union, and also was the actor featured in the promo video that Late Night UB created.
This was Rosales’ first year setting up the Haunted Union and he loved the experience. “There was always a good energy in the air … as we blasted music from the speaker and moved countless scary items to their respective rooms,” Rosales said.
The team who helped to put together the event consisted of many members who have worked to build the Haunted Union in the past. The team as a whole had many resources and people to help them with the whole building process.
“If we ever had a question about fire codes or how to run a cable for electricity, they always had an answer for us,” Rosales said.
The Late Night team spent many nights and weekends setting up this event, but for Rosales, it was all worth when he got to walk through the finished haunted house.
The Haunted Union is a great alternative for students who want to do something different than attend a costume party.
“Student life makes an actual haunted house appear in the Student Union,” Rosales said. “I don’t know many schools that can say they do that and say its run almost completely by students,”
Haunted Union is a good option for those who do not have cars or transportation to Halloween events off campus, like Fright World or The Haunted Catacombs.
Miranda Albini is a staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org