Bowles Hall stages cult-themed haunted house

Kristen Tamsil/Staff

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Jump scares, cult initiations and terrified students were all part of Bowles Hall’s annual student-run haunted house held Friday night.

Since its reopening four years ago, the residential college’s haunted house has garnered much popularity among the campus community. According to Bowles Hall social chair and campus sophomore David Cook, about 2,900 people were in attendance last year.

“Since the new Bowles took off, we’ve actually had a much higher volume of people that come than we expected at the beginning,” Cook said. “That number has been growing every year.”

Preparation for the event began at the start of this semester, according to Cook. More than 100 people, including Bowles Hall residents and alumni, participated in staging the event.

The haunted house was set up with particular attention to detail, including blood-stained walls, elaborate costumes and makeup and lighting effects.

Campus junior Anna Litskevitch, who attended the haunted house, added that it was well set up and evidently took a lot of time to prepare.

This year’s theme, “Survive the Cult,” was a play on a common stereotype, according to Cook.

“This year, we just wanted to make fun of ourselves for being a cult and just show the community that we have a good sense of humor,” Cook said.

To be “more philanthropic,” Katie Willett, Bowles Hall president, said the Bowles Hall community chose to partner with the Women’s Daytime Drop-in Center, a Berkeley-based organization that provides assistance to women experiencing housing difficulties or domestic violence.

Willett attributed the increasing popularity of the event to a desire to learn more about Bowles Hall.

“I think people are genuinely curious to see what is Bowles,” Willett explained. “People kind of hear about it here and there, and not too many people actually know about it.”

Contact Emma Rooholfada at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @erooholfada_dc.