Arts & Culture

Annual haunted house promotes JCA

Abandoned hospital-themed event included jump scares, video montage of horror scenes

Contributing Writer
Monday, October 30, 2017

The Japanese Student Association put on its annual haunted house in Sayles Hall Saturday night.

On Saturday night, a crowd of fright-seeking students converged on the steps of Sayles Hall to experience the Brown Japanese Cultural Association’s abandoned hospital-themed haunted house, the club’s annual Halloween event.

After descending the stairs to the basement of Sayles, participants hesitantly traveled through each room of the haunted house, flinching and screaming as actors dressed as ghoul-like doctors and patients suddenly jumped into view. This year’s event was not suited for participants with any hemophobic tendencies, as fake blood covered the space in syringes carried by ghoul-like nurses and on the heavily stained hospital gowns of patients.

“There were a lot of jump scares, but it wasn’t too bad,” said Sonya Bui ’21.

The short video montage of horror-inducing clips screened before the live-action segment of the haunted house illuminated the theme’s inspiration: Japanese horror films set in hospitals. Themes from previous years have included other performance-related elements of Japanese aesthetic and pop culture tradition, including geishas and a doll factory.

The club continues to hold the annual event to fundraise and promote the club to the community, said Kiyomasa Kuwana ’19, co-president of JCA.

Organizing and acting in the event also presents a bonding experience for the club’s members. “Everyone becomes closer,” added co-president Vicky Zhou ’18. “It’s a great opportunity to bond with each other and have fun.”

Zhou added that the haunted house has been a JCA tradition for most of the club’s existence and is their largest and most popular event of the semester, followed in the spring by Matsuri, an annual festival with street food and games. She added that JCA also holds smaller events for its members like a curry night at the beginning of the year and a Japanese-themed Secret Santa activity during the holidays.

Similar to past years, the fright night haunted house proved very popular. Over 500 people indicated they were “interested” on the Facebook event and several people were denied entry at the end of the night since the venue was at capacity. Zhou confirmed that the club has come to expect this turnout, as students from the University attend, as well as those from neighboring colleges like Rhode Island School of Design and Johnson and Wales University.

“It’s just amazing to see so many people interested and coming to our event that we haven’t seen before,” Zhou said. “It really gets the word out about our club.”

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