Eerie music filled the Valencia High School atmosphere, as students lined up to attend the first-ever Haunted Hallway by the Valencia gym. Screams from the hallway had students awaiting their turn in fearful anticipation.
The Tamales Express food truck was available, as well as goods from various Valencia clubs.
Planning this event in the midst of the summer was Valencia junior class President Gavin Andrada, 16, who spent two to three months coordinating logistics.
“This is the first time we’ve had this event, and what really inspired me was that I went to [Universal’s] Halloween Horror Nights for the past three years straight,” Andrada said. “I always wondered how they set it up — the music, the costumes, so I just did it myself. I had the platform, as class presidents, you know, you can do anything you want, really anything.”
Andrada was setting up at noon with junior Maya Yiadom, 16, and the hallway was divided into four movie themes: “The Ring,” “Chucky,” “The Purge” and “Stranger Things.”
“The hardest thing I’d say was definitely organizing people. I know high schoolers are really hard to get to listen to you, but in the end, it worked out as long as you have a strong voice. You’re really there for them to listen,” Andrada said. “I contacted every single person I knew, and then I told them to contact every person they knew. I even went to PTAs, I went to districts, I went to business, the schools.”
Yiadom assisted in reaching out to various organizations to ensure a proper turn out.
“Gavin was planning this all by himself, and then the date was coming closer, so he asked me to help with reaching out with advertising and organizing. I was basically in charge of outreach, making sure that all the businesses knew that we were here and getting donations,” Yiadom said. “This is really cool that he’s doing this, and it’s a really great community event. We have people from all schools here — it’s a great way to bring all of the schools together right before Halloween time. There are a lot of different faces here.”
All proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is the entire month of October.
“My initial idea of this event was to have a charity event — all the proceeds that we make in fundraising and off donations, we’re donating it to ACS because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I know we should continue that and keep contributing as a high school,” Andrada said.
One of the brave students who got out on the other side, sophomore Max French, 15, discussed the experience and how terrifying the hallway really was.
“What I really liked about it is that it was so dark in there, and there’s flashing lights everywhere. Around every corner, you couldn’t see what was there. I was already terrified to go around the corner, and also had a lot of fun. It was a frightening, fun experience,” French said. “My favorite part was when the clown was there, and when they had the doll laughing. That was amazing.”