NACURH Winner
Month: October 2018

NACURH, INC.

Social Program of the Month
Nightmare in Noehren

School: University of Northern Iowa Region: MACURH
Person in charge: Noehren Hall Senate Nominator: Abby Schuck & Noehren Senate

Target Population: 3850 Time Needed to Organize: 2 months
Number of People in Attendance: 700+ Date(s) of Program: October 24-25
Number of People Needed to Organize: 60 Cost of Program: $469.03
On-Campus Population: 3850 Chapter Size: 32

Origin of Program:

In the Fall of 2013, members of the Noehren Hall Senate set out to create a haunted house in the basement of the building where there are many long hallways and storage rooms. Over the past five years, the haunted house has grown to be a staple not only on campus, but in the surrounding community. Students and community members have come to anticipate this fun and safe, yet frightful, opportunity that also serves a good cause. While the price of admission has adjusted throughout the years, all proceeds from the beginning have been donated to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. This year, however, a change was made to donate to the newly developing UNI Food Pantry that will directly impact issues of food insecurity on our campus. Each year the turnout increases and the impact on the community continues to be seen. It has become a highly anticipated spooktacular event!

Word Count: 152


Please give a short description of the program:

The Nightmare in Noehren haunted house is planned, designed, and executed by member of the Noehren Hall Senate and other volunteers and takes place in the basement of Noehren hall at the University of Northern Iowa. The haunted house spans three long hallways, two small rooms, and one large recreation room. Setting up for the event takes about three days. When participants first entered the haunted house, they were faced with a dark forest filled with spiders dangling from the ceiling and coming out of the walls. They were also encountered by moving skeletons and people lost in the woods. The experience was intensified by the sound of real leaves rustling under their feet as they crouched their way through. From here the participants continued into a space that appeared as any standard residence hall room with one exception - “Death by Finals”! The terrible disease had spread to all students at UNI and led to zombie figures sitting at desks and lying in bed just trying to survive. Continuing on, the hall morphed into a hospital wing where the deeply impacted could be treated by the equally zombified doctors, all screaming and begging for help. The next phase of the haunted house was for those who survived the “Death by Finals” with a screening. The mad scientist, with their terribly morphed clowns, guided participants through a series of mechanisms to ensure their safety and escaping of the disease. The next stage of the haunted house guided participants into a small room with a phantom piano player and possessed baby doll. In order to exit the room, the group needed to answer the doll’s riddle. “The person who makes it sells it, the person who buys it never uses it, and the person who uses it never sees it, what am I?” If fortunate enough to discover the answer, participants were released to cannibal island, otherwise the doll became very impatient and insisted they get out of her room. This sent the participants into the last phase of the haunted house where they encountered babies being roasted, a woman being ripped open, and tents with cannibals lunging out looking for their next feast. It sent everyone out screaming and thoroughly terrified - all great things for a haunted house! All of this was accomplished while maintaining necessary points of exit, fire safety guidelines, and majority accessibility.

Word Count: 397


Goals of the program:

Nightmare in Noehren aims to achieve several goals, beginning with creating an opportunity for community involvement through a fun, safe, and engaging activity. This was accomplished through a well-devised marketing campaign that reached on- and off- campus students along with community members and local schools. Providing the opportunity at an affordable rate also helps create interest. The haunted house also requires many hours of planning and setup which allows for students to foster leadership, creativity, and time management skills. The number of students who grew in these ways through their involvement with the haunted house is truly outstanding. And last, but certainly not least, a goal of raising money and non-perishable items to donate back to our own students through the UNI Food Pantry served as a driving force for all who worked so hard to make a difference on their campus.

Word Count: 143


Positive and lasting effects of the program:

The Nightmare in Noehren haunted house is a tradition that has been scaring students and community members for the past five years. As each person waits in line, whether they came with a group of friends or on their own, they get to know those around them and commiserate about the ensuing fears and terrors. It was so fun to hear the stories of people who had been to the haunted house over the past few years and their excitement to return. One group of seniors even explained how they had all lived in Noehren as first-year students and had been coming back to the haunted house together every year since. In addition to the community bonds the event creates, the positive and lasting impact on students struggling with food insecurity is what makes Nightmare in Noehren so successful. This year alone, the event raised over $700 and 700+ non-perishable food items to be donated to the newly developing UNI Food Pantry. This contribution will help the new campus endeavor really get off the ground and help our fellow classmates.

Word Count: 181


Short evaluation of the program:

The Nightmare in Noehren haunted house had its most successful year yet! A widespread marketing campaign that reached on- and off-campus students through postering, public computer screens, dining hall table tents, campus calendar events, supplemental program, and simple word-of-mouth excitement proved successful in the number of students who turned out for the event. Furthermore, postering in key businesses in the local community and reaching out to middle and high school principals in the surrounding area brought in community members to enjoy the experience. There were over 730 individuals who volunteered or attended. The event raised over $700 and 700+ non-perishable items for the UNI Food Pantry and will make an impact far beyond the event itself. Even though Nightmare in Noehren was largely a success, there is still room for improvement in the future. More organization of ideas on the front end will help setup run more smoothly and be advantageous to the time of all volunteers. Looking for ways to make the event even more accessible will be necessary going forward so participants can enjoy the whole experience rather than just three- fourths. We look forward to continuing this success in future years while still working to improve it.

Word Count: 200


How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

The exact type of event to be executed, available budget, space available, and dedication to Halloween specifically are all pieces to consider in adapting this program to other campuses. Smaller campuses might consider doing a haunted maze. A haunted maze would not require as much space as an entire haunted house. Because the space would not have to be as large, there would also be a smaller amount of resources needed to carry out this event. Depending on the scale, a haunted maze likely wouldn’t require as many volunteers to work the event. While Nightmare in Noehren only took over one floor of a large residence hall, larger campuses may be able to utilize an entire building to execute a haunted mansion. A larger haunted attraction would also require more resources. At a larger institution, this event could reach more people and therefore raise more money or items for a philanthropic cause of their choosing.

Word Count: 156



Date of entry into database: 2018-10-31 13:13:51

NRHH Database Home