Area students raise funds with haunted houses

Joshua Kellogg

FARMINGTON — Area high school students have been working nights and weekends to see who can build the scariest haunted house in San Juan County to frighten visitors and raise money for their school clubs and organizations.

Students in Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington school districts will operate a variety of haunted houses as part of Halloween celebrations for children and adults.

Various props such as baby dolls and mannequins are prepared Saturday for a haunted house at Bloomfield High School.

The Aztec High School Key Club will take over the Pioneer Village at the Aztec Museum for the second year in a row, according to club sponsor Debbie Klein.

Students will be running the event from 7 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 30 and 31 at 125 N. Main Ave., in Aztec. The entrance is located at the back gate on Park Avenue. Admission is $3 for children 12 and younger and $5 for those 13 and older.

Klein said visitors will go through a haunted maze before taking a tour of the buildings in the village, with each building depicting a “horrifying event,” including a satanic church.

She said the Key Club members will donate the money raised to national charities like the March of Dimes. They also will select local charities following the event.

The junior class at Navajo Preparatory School feels that it has to meet the high expectations of the community for its fifth-annual haunted house.

Junior Taishiana Tsosie said the junior class voted to use an “asylum” theme and has been working since mid-September to build the haunted house in the old academic building on campus.

“The building itself is really old, that gives it this creepy effect,” Tsosie said.

Bloomfield High School seniors work on preparing a haunted house on Saturday at Bloomfield High School.

Students on the cross-country and soccer teams are volunteering to help operate the house for the two-weekend event. The money raised will be split between the three groups.

The event will run from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 7 to 11 p.m. on Oct. 30 and 31 at 1220 W. Apache St. in Farmington. Admission is $5 with a canned food donation or $6 without.

The Bloomfield High School senior class had to tear down and rebuild their haunted house in the school’s auditorium after fire safety concerns, according to history teacher Varissa DeHoyos.

DeHoyos said five dedicated seniors nearly rebuilt the entire haunted house in one day after the original design was torn down.

“It’s nice to see them working together and being excited about this,” DeHoyos said.

The “Masks of Mayhem and Freakshow” haunted house will evoke the imagery of horror film franchises “The Purge” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” as part of the design.

The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 27, 28 and 29, and from 7 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 30 and 31 in the auditorium at Bloomfield High School at 20 N. First St. in Bloomfield. Admission is $5 for all ages.

The Farmington High School Drama Club and Sociedad Latina club along with volunteers from Theater Ensemble Arts are hosting “Xtreme Terror 2: The Evil Within” at the building on the corner of Airport Drive and West Main Street.

Bloomfield High School senior Lizbeth Enriquez checks one of the rooms to be used in a haunted house on Saturday at Bloomfield High School.

The group operated a haunted house last year just one block north at Airport Drive and West Arrington Street.

Steven Clark, Farmington high drama teacher, said the new space is twice as big at nearly 16,000 square feet and it gave students an incentive to work harder.

Clark said the theme is based on the survival-horror video game “The Evil Within,” and is set in an insane asylum that slowly turns into a surreal journey into someone’s mind.

He said they hoped to design a haunted house that has more of a story rather than relying on a series of vignettes. They also wanted to include interactive elements, he said, using actors to involve visitors in the story.

The event will from 7 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Saturday and Oct. 30, then from 7 to 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 29, and from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Oct. 31. Admission is $10.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.