The Collegian
Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Students have a spooktacular time at “The Carnevil” annual haunted house

<p>University of Richmond's&nbsp;Modlin Center for the Arts.</p>

University of Richmond's Modlin Center for the Arts.

The University Players, the University of Richmond’s student theater group, hosted its annual haunted house, “The Carnevil,” on Oct. 28 and 29. The production took place in the Cousins Studio Theater of the Modlin Center of the Arts and was a great place for UR students to get spooked out in celebration of Halloween.

“The Carnevil” was a 10-minute interactive adventure through a tent that was broken down into a path with blind corners perfect for a jumpscare. The audience could find themselves entering paths with no lights and encountering all sorts of creepy and ghostly entities — a clown holding a red balloon, little girls chanting, someone getting murdered — you name it!

Students who went through the haunted house had varying reactions: some people found it very “breezy” while a few others had to yell “hold”, a safe word participants can use to stop the game, to exit before they could get to the end.

“On a scale of one to ten, it was a seven for me,” sophomore Ryan Doherty, a participant, said. “It was good and well-put together.”

Doherty said the end part of the haunted house was his favorite part, “At the end when they jumped out and screamed in my ear, I definitely fell on the floor.”

“I am very impressed with the UR Players,” Doherty continued, “and I just want to tell them to keep up the good work.”

Doherty was not the only person who said the end was their favorite part of the haunted house, which consisted of a clown bidding goodbye to the visitors. First-year Katherine Stoss looked visibly scared after exiting the haunted house.

“The clowns were the scariest part for me,” Stoss said. “I am just always very scared of spooky things.”

Some returners, like sophomore Doro Aziz, a member of the UR Players, also compared last year’s haunted house to this one.

“Last year, it was really impactful and also really funny for us to see how scared people became,” Aziz said. “Even this year, we had people exiting out of the experience midway because they were too scared.”

This year, students exited the haunted house with a big smile on their faces, be it one of amusement or horror. 

However, several students, including Stoss, expressed they felt the production was short.

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“Maybe the experience could be a little longer,” Stoss said.

Senior Joan Zhao, who is part of the production, explained how the length of the haunted house is subjective to the audience. 

“The experience was meant to be around 10 minutes, but when people are scared, they tend to walk very fast and as a result, we even had people getting out in two minutes,” Zhao said. 

Regardless of students’ “spooky scale rating,” they expressed how grateful they were to the UR Players for making their Halloweekend more special and how they cannot wait for next year’s “The Carnevil” (and definitely the return of the clown!).

Contact lifestyle writer Ahona Anjum at

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