Fraternity gets a creepy makeover

Chi Psi is turning its house into a “Haunted Lodge” for a second year.

Senior James Arnason decorates his room as a part of his fraternity's haunted house at Chi Psi Wednesday evening.

Bridget Bennett

Senior James Arnason decorates his room as a part of his fraternity’s haunted house at Chi Psi Wednesday evening.

Melissa Berman

On Halloween, one University of Minnesota fraternity house will be haunted.

With gravestones, fog and spider webs, Chi Psi’s University Avenue house will turn into the Haunted Lodge as part of the fraternity’s second annual philanthropy event.

Fraternity members will lead horror-seeking students through Chi Psi’s darkened house, ending in the dining room, where there will be refreshments and socializing.

Chi Psi’s philanthropy chair Dan Olsen said the Haunted Lodge started because the fraternity was looking for a fall philanthropy event and realized it could provide an alcohol-free option for students on Halloween, which he said isn’t always easy to find.

“Everyone loves haunted houses,” he said. “It’s a good option for students so they don’t feel like they have to go out to drink.”

Proceeds from the Haunted Lodge will go to Second Harvest Heartland, a hunger relief organization. Admission will be  $5, or $3 with a nonperishable food item.

Last year, the Haunted Lodge raised $600 and 500 food items, according to Luke Follmer, the fraternity’s external vice president.

Sorority Alpha Omicron Pi will also help at the lodge by running the door, setting up and cleaning after the event.

Matt Levine, program director for the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life, said the event contributes to the University community by providing a safer party alternative.

“It’s another way to engage students on a night that can sometimes be associated with high risk,” Levine said.

Alpha Omicron Pi social chair Sam Peterson said she hopes the sorority’s involvement will change any negative perceptions of the group.

“There’s always a stigma that greek life is all about alcohol and partying, and really there’s a lot more to it than that,” Peterson said.

Butcher shops to zombies

In the house, each fraternity member is responsible for decorating his own room with a certain theme and providing scares in that area. Past themes have included zombies and butcher shops.

Brandon Haraldson, a Chi Psi member and accounting sophomore, said he’s most excited to scare attendees.

“I’m looking forward to scaring people a lot,” he said. “I love haunted houses, and I’ve never been on the other side of it, so it’s going to be a blast.”

While creeping through the haunted house, Chi Psi public relations chair Chris Humphrey said students can expect surprises and complete darkness.

“One of the main plans is to get the lodge as dark as possible because a lot of people are scared of the dark,” Humphrey said.

Psychology and history junior Sarah McNulty attended the Haunted Lodge last year and said she loved it.

“It was amazing,” she said. “I couldn’t tell where I was in the lodge the whole time, and it was really scary.”

Olsen, the fraternity’s philanthropy chair, said he’s hoping to see both greek and non-greek students attend and enjoy the Haunted Lodge.

“Everyone is welcome; it’s not an exclusive thing at all,” he said.