Halloween is in the air, and ETSU’s Residence Hall Association kicked off Halloween week by hosting their annual Haunted House.

This year, they stepped up their game by creating a bigger, better, and more intricate haunted house and moved it from a residence hall lobby to the Culp Center’s ballroom.

The theme this year was Haunted Circus. Each room had a different “story,” as well as a mix of jump scares and creepy characters. The house began with a walk through the “Freak Room,” which contained actors dressed as a contortionist, a bearded woman and a three-legged man. As you walked through, these characters were screaming for help and a way to escape.

The next room was decorated with funhouse mirrors and notorious clowns. Complete with strobe lights, the events in the mirror room played out like a scary movie’s climax scene. In this room, the clowns would rock on the floor and suddenly jump up and begin screaming.

The next room held a gypsy, who threatened to read fortunes about dying and danger if they continued through the circus. This room had tarot cards and bloody skulls hung from the walls and ceiling. Next up was a Jack-in-the-Box room with a bloody clown jumping and screaming out of a painted box in a dark corner.

But it was the balloon pit at was the scariest highlight of the night.  This room required entrance through a dark tunnel at the mouth of a seven-foot-tall clown mouth where guests where immediately met by balloons piled five feet high and multiple clowns screaming and chasing them. The only way to exit was to crawl back out of the tunnel on the other end of the room.

After escaping the clowns, guests entered a room with conjoined twins covered in blood who were both laughing, crying and screaming. Lastly, after walking through the final room with an evil doctor creating a “freak” for the freak show, guests exited the house and take pictures in the photo booth.

Considering that the attraction was held in the Culp Center this year instead of a residence lobby, RHA had to do some intense construction work and preparation.

“We started planning Haunted House back in March,” said Kaelyn Bishop, RHA Vice President and Events Chair for RHA, “Once we got all the details and locations set in stone, we started having workshops for general body members to help us create all of our props, signs and decorations.”

Bishop also spent over 16 hours building temporary walls out of wood and tarp in order to keep the themed rooms separated from each other.

“Everyone worked so hard to help get this Haunted House functioning, but with all the positive feedback from attendees, we’re really proud of our work,” Bishop said.