On Friday, October 31, also known as Halloween, the Sigma Chi Fraternity Pomeroy Chapter House transformed into a haunted mansion, packed full of strange clowns, zombie pledges, ravenous cannibals, and an evil surgeon. Intent on terrifying any who dared to enter, the brothers of Sigma Chi and sisters of Alpha Phi donned fake blood, masks, wigs, and robes and wielded chainsaws, butcher knives, and scalpels in their efforts to serve the community with the best haunted house they could muster.
The house was organized so that each room had a different variation on the theme that the house burned to the ground 50 years ago and that every Halloween, the ghosts of the brothers rise again to reenact their activities the night of the fire. In the story of the house, the brothers were performing a wide variety of horrendous acts to each other on the night of the fire.
Open from 6–10 pm, the 54th annual Sigma Chi and Alpha Phi Haunted House invited all members of the community to attend, free of charge. Groups of four to 10 people entered the house through the kitchen, greeted by the gruesome scene of a cannibal butchering a victim on a stainless steel table covered in limbs and blood, with another victim attempting to crawl away on the floor. The tour then passed by a group of medical students learning anatomy by dissecting the victims they had snatched from the hallway and murdered. Though some guests were unimpressed by this room, it served as an excellent distraction for the next room to catch the group unaware. In the chainsaw room, a demented, masked, chainsaw-wielding murderer pursued a couple of victims covered in blood through the room, directly past the tour group, intensely startling the unsuspecting guests. After passing through the room, just as they thought it was safe, the chainsaw-wielder popped out of a door in a narrow hallway and revved the chainsaw again. The group then passed by a room containing slender man, a TV displaying static, and an extremely insane girl, who shrieked at those who passed. For the final room on the first floor, the group passed through the Hall of Dead Pledges, who reanimated and slowly pursued the guests, while groaning, limping, and snarling.
Entering the second floor, the tour passed through Conspiracy Central, which contained an audio of Morse code interspersed with air raid sirens and a couple of deranged conspiracists muttering in Latin. Plastering the walls were numerous copies of The Rensselaer Polytechnic’s recent issues. After escaping the conspiracy room, the guests faced an Ebola ward, where a patient sneezed and sprayed “infectious particles” at the passersby. The group then entered the bathroom, where an irrational, disturbed little girl’s ghost made a bloody mess of the place and jumped out of a shower stall. Entertainingly for the less easily terrified, the little girl was actually a 20 year old brother in a dress. The second floor concluded with a berserk mountaineer bound to a rope dropping from the ceiling wielding a bloody ice pick.
The third floor consisted of a hall of crazed clowns slowly inspecting the visitors. Purple and green lasers, rainbow-colored lights, and low-hanging spider webs, gave the hall a psychedelic, tightly enclosed atmosphere. The haunted house concluded with a pitch-black maze in the basement, ending in a donations table and well-earned cider, lemonade, and candy for all of those who endured the entire house.
Visitors were asked to donate to the jar labeled with the room they liked the most or were most frightened by. The house raised $250 in donations, which will be donated to the Colonel Albert Pawling Memorial Statue fund, which will soon be constructing a monument to the revolutionary war colonel, first sheriff of Rensselaer County, first mayor of Troy, and namesake of Pawling Avenue. The statue will stand at the corner of Congress Street and Pawling Avenue, a mere half mile from the Sigma Chi Chapter House. More information about the project can be found at http://pawlingstatue.org. Another philanthropic aspect of the event, offered free Halloween entertainment to members of the community, which drew approximately 320 attendees throughout the night.
Organizer and Sigma Chi brother Jonathan Tiller ’17 said of the event, “our 54th Annual Haunted House was successful again, as we raised money for the local Col. Albert Pawling Memorial Statue Project. We’d like to thank Alpha Phi, our co-host, and the members of the RPI and Troy community who helped make our event a success.” The event was a blast from the perspective of the brothers of Sigma Chi and sisters of Alpha Phi, who had the opportunity to terrify hundreds of guests and raise money for a worthy local cause while meeting members of the other house.