Since opening three years ago, Woodbury Elementary School has earned praise for its modern, student-centered design. But its multipurpose room was just downright spooky on the Friday before Halloween after it was converted into a maze of ghouls, witches and all things creepy.
For much of the afternoon, kids were lined up out to the curb to tour Woodbury’s “Haunted Maze,” which consisted of 22 separate tent structures, each connected to form a dimly lit passageway of chilling chambers.
Inside, black lights set off foreboding fluorescent designs, and costumed creatures popped out when you least expected them. (We were pretty much constantly expecting them, but they still made us jump.) Our favorite was a character who blended into the scenery by wearing a spotted bodysuit that matched the wall.
Students laughed and screamed as they shuffled through each room and made contact with the ghouls, who bore a striking resemblance to some friendly Woodbury teachers and staff members we know. After a number of eerie encounters, kids climbed through a tunnel that led to one final chamber, where a cauldron-stirring witch offered up some eyeball soup, a wormy pasta and other terrifying treats. (We didn’t want to be rude, but we were still full from lunch.)
Woodbury’s Haunted Maze was built by volunteers from the school’s Dads Club who probably had just as much fun designing the creepy labyrinth as the kids did navigating it. And the pictures you see hardly capture the hair-raising ambiance because we had to use the flash on our camera.
Principal ChrissAnn Shane, who was dressed up like a circus ringmaster that day, said there was a much tamer version for younger tots earlier in the day.
But Heather, 9, was among the big kids touring the more mature afternoon maze. We caught up with her for a quick review upon her exit.
“I screamed my whole way through,” she said.