Two leadership students at Sardis Secondary prepared a spooky surprise for Halloween week, raising money for a good cause.
With help from some friends, Annika Trythall and Asha-Lee Myton turned the school’s dance room into a haunted manor, complete with a graveyard and a concerning amount of disembodied hands.
Tuesday morning (Oct. 25), they turned the lights down and the scary sounds up.
Students paid $3 a ticket for the walk-through, with proceeds going to towards the school’s Ride for Cancer fundraising efforts.
“We think Ride for Cancer is a really good cause and we wanted to do this in a fun way,” Trythall said. “It’s important to get more money to fund more cancer research.”
Trythall escorted students through the room, telling the story of a wealthy widowed farmer, and the gold-digging woman who married him.
Suffering from a generational curse, the woman must sacrifice someone every Halloween.
“If the sacrifice is not made, her ancestors rise to take as many souls as they see fit,” Trythall said, the sound of howling wolves and the occasional scream adding to the ambience.
Of course, there are many things that can go wrong with ritual sacrifices, and so it is that the woman’s attempt to sacrifice her new husband fails. His body is possessed by spirits, and he goes about harvesting souls while demons set his manor ablaze.
“This is my first year doing it, and it’s turned out better than I expected,” Myton said. “It’s very fun to jump out at people and say our lines, and it’s good for me because I’m shy and it really pushes me out of my comfort zone.”
The second visitors step into the room they are greeted by a ghostly character swinging from the ceiling. That’s a girl named Emma providing the first ‘jump scare.’
The second comes at the end when Trythall is pulled into the black curtains that line one side of the room.
“As though I’m being taken by the ancestors,” she said.
Trythall was part the first ‘haunted house’ effort in 2021, one that was held by donation and raised around $50. Trythall and Myrton were optimistic they could blow past that total this year, and after taking a few groups of students through, they appeared to be well on their way.