UVA Wise students school of scare
will be Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 28-31. Tickets are $15 per person, and sales begin
7 p.m. each show night.
Wise, Va. — This year at the Wise County Fairgrounds a small group of students from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise are taking advantage of a unique course studying the art of scaring people. UVA Wise’s “Haunting Houses” course is the only class like it in the whole country. Continuing a long local community tradition of Halloween festivities, the Haunting Houses students are eager to learn new skills in design and management through on-the-job training where they design and operate their very own haunted attraction, this year called “Forbidden Fairgrounds.”
The Haunted House occurs each weekend in October and is open to everyone to participate. Students and community volunteers will be found roaming this haunted attraction from dusk till 11 p.m. practicing some of their new-found skills delighting the public with old-fashioned frightful fun for all ages.
Forbidden Fairgrounds is the evolution of a special topics study course born out of the imaginations of Professors Ben Mays and Michael McNulty. Both men are lovers of magic and haunted houses and through many shared stories of ghosts, ghoulies and folklore they came up with this idea of a class which would provide students the opportunities to learn by doing their own haunt.
Initially the class gained experience by helping the local high school in producing their haunt “Carnevil” in 2019, but eventually they were producing the event all on their own. “Continuing community traditions is important to the vitality of any community,” says Mays, “and by offering our students and community a place to continue to learn by doing, to practice what they learn, is our way of helping ensure these traditions continue.”
Mays is extremely thankful to all his “fun-loving fellow haunters” for their support.
“Many local people, businesses and organizations have contributed to this fundraiser in so many ways,” says Mays, of the event for which proceeds go to the UVA Wise Department of Visual and Performing Arts. “We are most appreciative for their past and continued support.”
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