On Oct. 25, the Society for Castle Restoration put on the Haunted Castle, a favorite of Arcadia University’s many traditions, in light of the upcoming, long-awaited Halloween. This year the theme of the event was “Mr. Harrison’s Toy Shop,” featuring rooms dedicated to broken dolls, marionettes, a twisted tea party, and a guest appearance by Mr. Harrison’s daughter.
The Haunted Castle actors and tour guides worked tirelessly to perfect their skits, holing themselves up in Grey Towers Castle for fourteen hours on Saturday and early Sunday morning. Tours were taken through the breakfast room, the conference room, the mirror room, and the rose room, before the climax of the event took place in the great hall.
In between tours, the actors giggled quietly among themselves, with whispers of pure amazement. Did you see that one guy? He was so freaked out! He kept trying to hide behind his girlfriend. That one lady was spooked, too. She kept looking over her shoulder at us! They chuckled in excitement until they heard their cue to get into position for the next group.
Overall, their work paid off, scaring over 400 students and community members altogether, raising a grand total of $797, which the club will use to begin work restoring the castle’s chimney and dumbwaiter starting on Nov. 13.
Within the Haunted Castle, there was a secret competition between rooms for bragging rights and the title of the best spooky room. This year, the mirror room took the cake with their puppet-themed skit, in which a ventriloquist and his dummy told the tale of Joseph, a crazed toy maker seeking love and perfection through his own creations. Although the mirror room claimed the title, every chamber was successful in scaring the customers through their hard work and determination.
Next year, the actors, tour guides, and diligent helpers who aided in the success of the haunted nights hope to make the Haunted Castle better than ever before with more entertainment, especially for those waiting in line to enter, and to increase audience participation. They all would like to extend their sincerest thanks to the Society for Castle Restoration’s board members for their work in supplying them with food, water, and first aid, as well as to everyone who attended and braved the unexpected terrors, and to those who gave donations.