Page 1

Getting into the





>> Trying to piece together the perfect costume?

Working your way through a maze of Halloween festivities

The Top 10 Horror Movies, Paranormal Activity review

The dark depths of Shawnee Mission East

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page 4 >>AlishkaJolitz

mixed mixed mixed mixed mixed


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mixed mixed

{the page about halloween}



throw together a Halloween costume

Black Eyed Peas

Captain Underpants

Bag of Jelly Belly’s

find a pair of your sister’s tights

find a plain white undershirt

get a clear trash bag and cut a hole for your head and arms

put some whitey tighties over the tights

take a sharpie and draw the letter “P” on the front of the shirt

fill the bag with colorful balloons

tie a beach towel around your neck

put face paint on to make it look like you have a black eye

print off the Jelly Belly logo and tape it to the front.


top halloween costumes of 2009

seconds with... Lois Wetzel senior

• What was the best costume you’ve ever worn for Halloween?

>>Alyssa Jolitz

In fourth grade I was a Miami Dolphins football player because that is what I wanted to be when I grew up.

• When did you stop trick-or-treating? Why? I stopped in eighth grade because that’s when my friends started to have parties instead.

• What is your least favorite candy? Almond Joys.

• Were you a “counter” with your Halloween candy? What is the top amount of candy you got in one night?

Yes, I always counted my candy then would trade with my sister. We always got about 150-170.

• What is your favorite thing to carve in a pumpkin? Harry Potter characters.

What to do if’re given fruit instead of candy Resist the urge to throw it back in their face, and instead, smile, say thank you, and remember never to come back to that house. Then quickly move on to a house smart enough to buy the good stuff.

>>Senior Annie Bennett >>

4 “

Popular costumes this year may be: Michael Jackson, Harry Potter, Billy Mays, President Obama or even a Shawnee Mission East Lancer.

>>Jeff Cole

teachers share their favorite memories of Halloween

In third or fourth grade my friends and I were trick-ortreating and we were running from house to house. As we were running I got clotheslined by a tree’s stability wire. So be careful when you are trick-or-treating and go around wires. >>Chip Ufford

One time my friends made a dummie and hung it up on a tree over a road. Then when cars would drive by they would drop the dummie and the people in the cars would freak out. Sometimes the cars would even chase after them.

” “ “ Last Halloween I dressed up as a hurricane. I wore a rain coat and held a squirt bottle. Then when people asked me what I was I just squirted them in the face.

>>Jason Filbeck

>>John Nickels

Last year I was in Austin, Tex. and I was dressed as bikers for Wham! They’re the greatest band of all time and I was just a hot biker chick and wore all my Wham! memorabilia. >>Jodie Schnakenberg

issue 4 halloween page 3

aSCREAM for HALLOWEEN Sophomore staffer’s pleads for social acceptance of highschool tricker-or-treaters an opinion of

>> ChrisHeady


If you were like me, trick-or-treating on Halloween was the highlight of your fall. Once October came around you didn’t stop thinking about it, even though it was a good 30 days away. Your friends would talk about costumes and the neighborhood route at recess. And when Halloween was said and done and you had concluded your trick-or-treat expedition, you were ecstatic counting your Reeses, Laffy Taffies and Hershey bars. Competitions for heaviest pillow cases were fierce and secret candy poker was held in the basement afterward. Nowadays, however, it’s frowned upon for a high school-

What Did We Ever Do Wrong? I give the first reason to you as a question. Why not? What’s so morally incorrect about dressing up as ketchup and mustard bottles while accumulating free candy with your best bud? I see no wrong in this. I only see opportunity. Besides, sometimes the best costumes require pubescent features like facial hair, broad shoulders, or a deep voice.


Teenage Metabolism in Overdrive


Many younger trick-or-treaters are fighting childhood obesity, and Halloween night doesn’t help the issue. But many teenagers don’t have to worry about getting fat. Well, not yet anyway. Most of us are in respectable physical condition and won’t get rolls by stuffing our faces with Crunch bars and Snickers. A lot of us are active through sports and extracurricular activities. Thus, we have no worries about our weight or wellness. So if you’re going to go crazy and eat you’re face off, what’s better than Halloween?

It’s Just Not Quite the Same Without it


Think about the first time you didn’t trick-or-treat. It’s like being sick during Christmas. You’re there, but you don’t get to have any of the fun. It may be okay for a 40-year old parent to do, but passing out candy to pirates and dead celebrities doesn’t exactly tickle my fancy. Plus, parents and counselors always tell us to “get involved” in the community. Well parents and counselors, here’s you’re number one idea.

er to go trick-or-treating on Halloween. Once you are in high school, it’s suddenly not okay to walk down the street in a “Lord of the Rings” elf outfit. Nowadays housewives and grandmothers label it as “creepy” or “inappropriate” and give older teenagers death stares, as if we’re plaguing society. But don’t start ghost busting us high schoolers just yet. There is no legitimate reason we shouldn’t be able to experience trick-or-treating as young adults. For those of you who disagree, I present to you five flavorful reasons why.

We Must Protect This Housese With older kids trick-or-treating, the little children are less likely to get creeped on by the neighbor freak show. Lets think about this rationally. Little kids plus cute little costumes plus Herbert the Pervert equals not such a solid situation. But with older students prowling the streets, little Jimmy and Sarah will be safer from harm. It will be our brotherly or sisterly duty to watch over all of the cute little Snow Whites and Cinderellas.

Child Within is Getting Lonely


For too long we’ve been told “you’re too old to do stuff like that” and blah blah blah. Well, on this night you can release your inner child and become a Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtle or a fairy princess or whatever you want to be and go out and get all the candy your pillow case can hold. Trick-or-treating is something that I think should be practiced from age one to 95. Because after that you really don’t need a costume.

So there you have it. Five reasons why you, the high school student, should go out there and have a blast wandering from house to house and satisfying you’re sweet tooth. Blow off those teenage trick-or-treating naysayers and judgmental housewives and go off and have a delicious time. All I know is, once I figure out a way to slip in my Batman costume without it penetrating my skin because it’s so tight, I’m going to go out there and trick or treat my 16 year-old butt off. And you should too.

What to do if’s not a costume party after all “First I would act like my banana costume wasn’t a costume at all just my daily get up. Then I would go grab some punch and get in on >> a game of twister.””

>>Sophomore Jack Sayler

page 4 halloween 10.19.09



cornersof east East’s rarely explored depths are put in the limelight >>BobMartin


No matter what the building, the boiler room always seems to be the pinnacle of dark, grimy and creepy places to be, specifically at night. With very few lights, the dark room grumbles and moans as the boilers and other machines labor on. Assorted puddles of water cover random spots on the murky concrete floor, and the sheer number of pipes make it an obstacle course to walk through. Like the catwalks, this room, if it can even be called that, serves a very important purpose. The large machines here are solely responsible for heating and cooling the building, a hefty task considering it must cover all five floors. Connected directly to the janitor's garage, not many students will ever set foot here before their final departure from Shawnee Mission East.

Where to look... Locations as indicated by their abbreviations

LOWER /UPPER ARCHIVES (A) With the ambience and feel of a dungeon, the East Archives are rarely-seen storage areas that would fit in just about any 80s slasher flick. With two locations, directly next to the gym entrance and in the basement near the boys’ locker room, the archives are extremely unkempt and completely disorganized. Arriving in the upper archives, it becomes apparent that this is one of the least presentable places in the building. A 1984 East regional champions cross country plaque seems eerily out of place gathering dust near an air conditioning unit, rather than glimmering in a trophy case. Wood boards and random debris on the floor keep with the theme. Still, faculty members have found a way to take advantage of it. In preparation for last year's play "Woyzeck", drama teacher Brian Capello instructed 2009 graduate Alec Hynes to hide in the pitch black archives, and then sent senior Kat Jaeger to find him with nothing but a candle for light. The exercise was meant to help the two develop the sinister characters that they would soon portray. "I know its very dark and cold up there," Capello said. "And the experience just threw [Jaeger] off, and got her in the same mood as we were going for in the show." The lower archives provide much of the same eerie experience, with years of old computer equipment and desks surrounding large machinery and pipes. This location is significantly larger though, because it doubles as the school's fallout shelter, a relic of its 1950s construction.


What to do if end up with too much candy Share the love. Invite over some ladies and turn on a WNBA game, preferably Seattle Storm. Put out light, Triscuit-like snacks to offset the caloric value of the Halloween candy. You should be set after that. >>Freshman Chris Watkins



>>all photos by Mackenzie Wylie


One of the building's best kept secrets, and the topic of excessive rumor, the basement actually contains a large tunnel system that runs under both ramps. Pitch black, the tunnel entrance is found via a janitor’s closet near room 106. Once here, a ladder placed against a six to seven foot wall must be climbed to gain access. The tunnels are without a doubt the darkest and surely creepiest of all in East, because of the small number of people who have ever even been through them. Custodian Mike Webb admits that the only time he's ever near the passageway is a oncea-month checkup involving a quick shine of a flashlight to look for mold and other residue. Otherwise, the tunnels are always empty. The only reason these dark corridors even exist is to feed different electrical lines through the building, giving them far reach, but keeping them out of sight. Most students don't realize it, but every trip taken up or down the ramps is a trip directly above a dark and lonesome tunnel.


>>file photo



Situated 30 feet above the audience in the auditorium, the catwalks are unsteady, wobbly and easily one of the most unsettling places to find yourself at East. Going past the sound board, and into the control room at the rear of the auditorium, a nearby metal staircase leads right to them. Initially looking in, the assortment of old wooden-board pathways and shaky railing looks far from safe, but taking a step forward onto the creaky floorboards is a bit more reassuring. Underneath the walkways lies normal carpeting, but the rails are in place for a reason. Anyone that would step out into this no-man’s-land

would fall right through the ceiling, a far from comforting thought. Musty and dark, random assortments of wires are scattered all around, but these pathways do serve an important purpose to the theater department. It is here that much of the lighting for performances are hung and maintenanced on a regular basis. While generally safe, the area still poses a risk to those who don't know what they're doing, and for this reason the only people allowed up are those who are working on a show or somehow involved with an East stage production. For junior stage manager Ricky Latshaw, the old catwalks have become a part of his routine and are necessary to pull off a good show, but caution is still necessary every trip up. "The first time I went up was my freshman year on a workday, I was kind of nervous then, not knowing what to expect," Latshaw said. "Now I don't even think about it when I go up there, it's like walking down the hallway to me"

An amazeing experience

issue 4 halloween page 5

Despite its distant location, Louisberg Cider Mill proves an enjoyable time with friends


When my friends and I walked through the gravel parking lot of the Louisburg Cider Mill, Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze, one scent prevailed. It smelled like the natural fertilizer provided to us by cows, but after a more thorough investigation I discovered from the ticket booth worker that it was a compost pile of apple pulp leftover from the cider process. Thankfully, this did not foreshadow the rest of the day at Louisburg Cider Mill. The smell disappeared after a short walk in the opposite direction. Although it was a chilly day, the fun times could not be prevented. For $7.50 I got to visit the pumpkin patch, corn maze, petting zoo, hayride and children’s play area. The corn maze was 10 acres of unforgiving routes that often lead back to the same spot. There were maps located at various spots throughout the maze to provide aid to anyone who got lost, which definitely happened often. We considered having a race to the center. It would have been difficult because we’d have to dodge a large number of parents and their 3 foot tall youngsters, but the competition would make the success more entertaining. To make it to the center of the maze would have been an impressive feat, which we did not accomplish,

Pee Yoo! |

but we were in it less for the completion and more for the fun so we decided to do one of the alternatives. Our options were to take a word puzzle offered at the ticket booth and complete it with letters given in the maze, try to make our own routes by navigating through the uncharted rows in between corn stalks or merely try to walk the entire maze, and get some calories burnt before visiting the gift shop for treats. We decided to combine the last two options by taking no notice of the maps in an attempt to reach the goal on our own and occasionally going off the beaten path. The hayride was a nice break after the corn maze, though you should dress a little warmer than I did considering it’s not quite as fun sitting still with a constant wind in your face if you’re wearing an inadequate outfit of jeans and a sweatshirt like me. I wouldn’t have survived without the help of a friend who willingly provided me with an extra layer. Contrary to what you might think, I enjoyed being pulled at a sluggish 5 mph by a tractor, on a dirt road that went over a bump at least every 3 seconds. With 10 acres of pumpkins to choose from, it wasn’t hard to find the perfect miniature sized pumpkin I searched for in the pumpkin patch. The pumpkins ranged

| Stay home |

from $2-$8 but there was every size and shape of pumpkin you could possibly want: from a tall one destined to be used to roast pumpkin seeds with, or your classic short, impeccably round one headed to a future as a jack-o-lantern. After hours in the frosty autumn air it was nice to retreat to the Country Store to indulge in some hot apple cider that was sure to thaw us out, or a delicious cider doughnut covered in cinnamon sugar. I went with an apple slush, which is frozen apple cider, and though it was cold it was also yummy. Along with these treats there are caramel apples, other beverages like root beer floats or coffee, and a store full of pantry goodies like preserves, snacks or maybe a bag of cider doughnut mix so you can even enjoy it away from the mill. With so many opportunities available to take advantage of, the Louisburg Cider Mill is a great way to spend a day. For the cost of $10-$15 you get hours of entertainment and relaxation, and leave with as many souvenirs and treats as you come across. I enjoyed every aspect of the cider mill apart from the initial smell and weather, but that can’t be avoided. Overall, it was an entertaining day outside filled with fun activities, cheerful people and tasty food.

| Worth the drive |

| Rompin’ good time |


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page 4 halloween 10.19.09

Breaking the ‘Silence’ of ‘Lamb’ Harbinger movie fanatic explains his top 10 favorite horror flicks

1) The Shining (1980)

6) Quarantine (2008)

Master director Stanley Kubrick’s epic slow-build creepfest is not only one of the scariest films ever made, but also one of horror’s most iconic and successful displays of style, story and suspense. A family lives in and works as a ghostly hotel’s caretakers during its closed winter months, while the father (Jack Nicholson), influenced by the resident spirits, slowly spirals into murderous madness and turns on his wife and young son.

While John Erick Dowdle’s firstperson, shaky-cam infection flick is by no means perfect, it does manage to supply an engagingly styled, continuously intense thrill ride that never lets up, proving that sometimes American remakes actually can be good. A television reporter and her cameraman, paired with some firemen out on a routine call, become trapped inside an apartment building after it’s sealed off, leaving them to handle the infected residents on their own.

2) The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Jonathan Demme’s utterly chilling serial killer investigation not only contains one of the greatest and most haunting performances of all time, but is one of only three movies to have ever won all five major Oscars, and currently the only Best Picture-winning horror film. To catch another serial killer, rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) must seek help from and open up to an imprisoned killer and cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins).

7) Planet Terror (2007)

Robert Rodriguez’s half of “Grindhouse” was not only the better movie of the double feature, but also one of the coolest zombie films in recent memory, rife with explosive and over the top action, irreverent humor and gross, creepy monsters. While it starts out as (somewhat) regular horror, it transitions into extreme zombie action comedy about half way through, especially after the heroine (Rose McGowan) starts using her machine gun leg to save the day.

3) The Thing (1982) Arguably John Carpenter’s greatest work as well as the epitome of awesome 80s special effects, this paranoia-laced creature feature stars the always bad-ass Kurt Russell in the lead, and provides tons of unique thrills, astounding gore and finely crafted tension. After a group of scientists encounters an alien in Antarctica, it starts killing off and imitating them, so no one can trust each other as they all try to find out who’s still human and destroy the impostors.

8) Let the Right One In (2008) Tomas Alfredson’s majestic, Swedish piece of art house horror tells not only one of the best grown-up fantasy stories of this generation, but also one of the most brilliant, effective vampire tales in history. A bullied young boy makes an unlikely friendship with an odd little girl, who turns out to be a vampire, and the two of them develop a romance where they both protect and care for each other in different ways.

4) Alien (1979)

Ridley Scott’s big break is still one of the most terrifying pieces of either the science fiction or horror genres, with some of the best sets and creature designs ever conceived and a female heroine (Sigourney Weaver) who proves girls really can kick ass. After a mining spaceship finds a new alien lifeform, the specimen quickly evolves into a sneaking monster and starts taking out the crew one by one, turning a routine mission into a claustrophobic fight for survival.

9) Evil Dead II (1981)

Sam Raimi’s remake/re-imagining of his original cult classic “Evil Dead” takes a less serious approach to the “cabin in hell” situation compared to the first, balancing the horror with gutbusting, wonderfully cheesy humor and utilizing the incredible charm and awesomeness of its star Bruce Campbell to its advantage. After a book awakens the dead, a lone survivor must defeat an assault of demons or suffer the same fate as the creatures he battles.

5) The Exorcist (1973)

William Friedkin’s undoubted masterpiece, this tale about a young girl’s possession by the devil horrified audiences when it was first released, and has lost little of its chilling power in the 36 years since. Particularly shocking is the extended climax of the film, the exorcism itself, which highlights the incredible acting present throughout, the well-developed story and the extreme tension that have made this a classic.

10) Psycho (1960)

What to do if your mom wants you to wear the same costume

Kris: I would say hell no and refuse to wear a costume Kevin: I would absolutely not let her make us wear the same costume. >> >> Seniors Kris and Kevin Hertel


t tit xS



Tomas Alfredson’s majestic, Swedish piece of art house horror tells not only one of the best grownup fantasy stories of this generation, but also one of the most brilliant, effective vampire tales in history. A bullied young boy makes an unlikely friendship with an odd little girl, who turns out to be a vampire, and the two of them develop a romance where they both protect and care for each other in different ways. all photos courtesy of

‘Paranormal’ly Frightening

issue 4 halloween page 7

Spine-tingling independent gem shocks audiences to the core


Forget “The Blair Witch Project,” “Cloverfield” and “Quar- particularly with an overlaid humming frequency, everantine,” “Paranormal Activity” sets a new standard for the present sense of foreboding and by raising the stakes each faux-documentary fright-fest. Never have I been so consis- day. There are no hollow pop-out thrills here; every scare tently creeped out during one movie as with this subtle, yet is hard-earned and hits home. Whenever the light down truly eerie story of a supernatural haunting. From hardcore the hall mysteriously turns on or the sheet is pulled off the horror fans to those who just like to be freaked out once in bed by the invisible force, goosebumps and chills will run a while, this is the must-see shocker of the Halloween sea- throughout your entire body, especially down the spine. son. Peli makes these moments so powerfully unnerving Not since watching “Signs,” which gave my mom night- through the absence of computer animation, flashy gimmares for two weeks and convinced her to stay out of the micks or even any gore. Almost all of the extremely low-key dank, dark depths of our house’s basement whenever pos- effects are done practically, which aids in making each one sible, have I seen a horror film able to strike feel totally real and thus more such dreadful fear throughout a viewer’s And because the Low Budget Activity disturbing. psyche, especially to this great an effect. fiend can’t be physically seen And that uneasy feeling continues long afand is usually just out of view, THE CONCEPT ter it’s over, too. but is often heard, this leaves Shot in director Oren Peli’s home One reason “Paranormal Activity” a good deal up to the imaginaFilming took one week induces such disquieting terror, and so tion, raising the intensity to Budget of $15,000 successfully might I add, is due to its simHitchcockian levels at some plicity. There are only two prominent charpoints. One scene leading to Initial release in select cities acters in the movie, Katie (Katie Featherthe attic is incredibly tense, ston) and Micah (Micah Sloat), a couple specifically because you can THE RESULT who’s being harassed in their home by see something up there but Was nearly remade until a screening some otherworldly force. Micah buys a hihave no idea what it is, so of the original got rave reviews tech camera (which serves as the perspecyou’ll imagine the worst. Received a nationwide release after tive for the audience) and audio recorders Also integral to the believhigh demand to Paramount Pictures so he can document whatever is troubling ability of “Paranormal Activity” them, and as its tormenting intensifies is the acting. In a cheap little Gross revenue of nearly $10.5 million over time, both the young couple as well independent flick like this, real through Oct. 14. as the viewer become increasingly frightactors can’t be afforded, so un>> knowns must be used instead. ened to find out what it will do next. The cocky and at first unafraid Micah This actually works as a benvideotapes his and Katie’s activities at home efit for the film rather than a with the camera, carrying it around during the day as they detriment, because recognizable actors would help slowly learn more about their situation and leaving it on in bring about the realization, while you’re watching the corner for a wide shot of their bedroom while they sleep. it, that this is in fact a fictitious movie and didn’t Most of the time it’s during the middle of the nights that the actually happen. Due to the unknowns, you’ll stay evil spirit makes its presence known, where proof of its ex- immersed for the entire runtime, and won’t recogistence is captured on camera. It starts by knocking keys nize the film isn’t a part of reality until after leaving off a table, then by making loud noises a floor below, and the theater. progresses to sneaking into their room and slamming the Sloat and Featherston manage to make everydoor. But that’s not the least of it. thing feel real, from their interaction with each othHowever, if there wasn’t any suspense developed before er to their horrified reactions while being haunted. these actions, they would only be slightly spooky at most. The endearing Sloat imbues the movie with most Thankfully, first time writer and director Oren Peli steadily of its humor, which usually provides a nice change builds the tension for each night’s paranormal activity, of pace during the daytime, as Micah’s sarcasm

supplies many laughs while the two characters are developed. Featherston proves herself also quite likable, but she really shines whenever Katie is alarmed and shocked. The viewer becomes emotionally invested in this couple, getting just as wrapped up within their world and afraid as they are, so Micah and Katie feel like actual people throughout the whole film, never like actors portraying characters. But the man who truly deserves applause here is Peli. With a minuscule budget of only $15,000 and using a single house as the set for the full movie, he has crafted one of the most efficient and atmospheric horror films of all time. Each night is more ominous than the last, creating a crescendo for the creepiness. And while he doesn’t make any incident completely terrifying until the finale, the ending is all the more effective because of that, and was one of the most frightening things I’ve ever seen. “Paranormal Activity” is not a film for those who can’t handle legitimate scares. Some audience members were physically and psychologically shaken by the movie, and took quite some time to leave their seats after the credits. More than just a film, this is a superbly suspenseful, expertly executed and wholly unforgettable experience, the best and most chilling I’ve had at the theater yet in the horror genre. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


What to do if

...someone smashes your pumpkin


Stay home |

| Rental at best |

| Worth seeing |

First of all, you punch them in the face. You have to smash their face in for smashing your pumpkin. It’s only right, they ruined my Halloween spirit. Don’t mess with me.


>>Junior Riley Watson

| Instant Classic |


issue 4 halloween page 8

From sophomores

>>Katie East


On Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons this month, something magical happens in the courtyard between the ordinary Worlds of Fun employee locker room and the more ordinary administrative offices. On picnic tables in broad daylight, evillooking clowns work on homework, a rabid bunny walks around without his head on, and girls wearing leather mini-skirts and covered in fake blood knock back energy drinks. It’s a place caught between the real world and that of the Worlds of Fun Halloween Haunt, which is open on weekends through Nov. 1. The employees, called screamsters, range in age from 16 to 82 and come from all over the Kansas City area. Among them are sophomores Maddy Pigeon and Nicole Koch. In this strange realm between actual and unreal, screamsters wait in line for over an hour to get their makeup done. Pigeon waits, already in her costume: striped dress, ruffle collar, purple leggings. She wears a wig of neon pink ringlets with a sparkly green top hat balanced atop her curls. “When you go in, the makeup artist asks you, ‘How did you die?’” Pigeon said. Pigeon emerges with a thick coat of clown paint and blood on her face. Blood streams Joker-like from the corners of her mouth. “I told her I like to eat children,” Pigeon said. The screamsters gather and discuss scare tactics, how they are going to stay awake until midnight and whether or not there really is a snake lady there that has live snakes. Both Pigeon and Koch love the screamster community—the people are one of their favorite parts of the job. Because the only rules are to steer

Sophomores Nicole Koch and Maddy Pigeon work at Worlds of Fun haunted houses

clear of little kids and not stalk, chase or touch anyone, the job attracts an interesting applicant pool. Koch realized at her interview that this was a different kind of job interview. “They didn’t care about the piercings, the hair color, anything,” Koch said. “And it’s kind of cool because you meet some really unique people.” A group of girls scantily clad in shiny black miniskirts laced up the front, called the “Dominatrix Barbies” according to Pigeon, come out of the locker room, “My friends would freak out if they saw all these people,” Pigeon said. ----It starts to get darker, and the screamsters line up by house for the parade. There are nine houses, which are scattered around the park and each have a different theme. Pigeon is an evil clown in CarnEvil, while Koch scares in Bloodshed. Rivalry between the houses is strong, and fueled by awards for the best scaring given every night. “You’re really loyal to your house,” Koch said. “It’s kind of like being from East— when you talk to people from South, you kind of defend East. You do that with your haunted house too.” However, all the In the Brophy family, we have a houses unite for a tradition where we weigh our loot parade around the and the winner of the night gets grounds before first pick of the candy we have left the screamsters over from home. So if no one sees have to report to >> me, I would dump the entire bucket their houses. The into my pillow sack. parade is a free>>Junior George Brophy for-all scare time.

What to do if

to screamsters

...there’s a sign that says ‘take one’

The man with the chainsaw runs up to a group of little girls and revs the engine, making them scream. Another man wearing stilts and a tarantula outfit follows a woman who breaks into a run when she glances over her shoulder and sees him. Pigeon leads the clowns behind the wheel of the orange clown car. It’s her favorite part of the night. Pigeon found about the job when surfing the net shortly after her sixteenth birthday, in search of a source of gas money. Her personality seemed a perfect match—she loves theater, has no problem socializing with people she doesn’t know and has more energy than most. Koch wasn’t as sure it was for her when she first heard about it. “[It] sounded like a cool job,” Koch said. “But it didn’t sound like something I would do because I don’t do any drama or acting— I hate being on stage.” In addition, Koch is afraid of the dark. She can’t watch scary movies or even CSI, because the dead bodies “freak her out.” She went for it anyway, thinking maybe it would cure her nyctophobia. “I figure I’m either going to come out of this not scared of the dark anymore,” Koch said. “Or I’m going to be absolutely terrified.” ----It’s 8 p.m., finally pitch black out, and the screamsters take their positions at their houses. Pigeon begins the night standing behind the podium at CarnEvil’s entrance. As the greeter, she screeches “Come in!” to passersby, leaning over the desk with a menacing grin on her face. From 8 until the park closes, Pigeon slips from reality and

becomes a crazed clown with a shriek as piercing as her heavily lined eyes. “You turn into that character for so long that you kind of become that person,” Pigeon said. “I can’t think of half the things I said [at night] the next day because I don’t even know where [they] came from.” Some nights, Pigeon says she and the other clowns sit around waiting for people to scare, while other times it’s so crowded in CarnEvil that it’s hard to walk through. Up the path from CarnEvil, Bloodshed is a dark, narrow labyrinth of hallways and rooms, thick with fog and great hiding places to jump out of. Three weekends ago, Koch spent five hours in a closet-sized room full of bloody rubber chickens and feathers. “The energy just drains from you like halfway through the night no matter how much caffeine you drink,” Koch said. After the initial burst of energy, Pigeon says the rest of the night becomes a cold, tiring blur of scare, move on, scare, move on until closing time, which is midnight on Fridays and 1 a.m. on Saturdays. Exhausted, aching and freezing, Pigeon and Koch trudge back to the employee parking lot and collapse in Pigeon’s gray RAV4. After the half hour car ride, they get home around 1 or 2 a.m., depending on the night. Once home, Koch peels off her bloody gashes, made of paint, latex and tissue paper. “It feels like ripping off a really bad band-aid off your face,” Koch said. As soon as their makeup’s off, their toes thawed and their costumes put away, it’s back to the real world. Until next weekend.

Halloween Package  

page 4 page 2 page 5 The dark depths of Shawnee Mission East Trying to piece together the perfect costume? The Top 10 Horror Movies, Paranor...

Halloween Package  

page 4 page 2 page 5 The dark depths of Shawnee Mission East Trying to piece together the perfect costume? The Top 10 Horror Movies, Paranor...