“Heart of Horror” in the heart of Ohio

This Halloween, SWAGathon will be adding something new to trick-or-treat night. The third floor of the old high school will be transformed into a haunted house called In the Heart of Horror.

SWAGathon (Students With A Goal) is an organization that partners

Freshman Hayden Sutton (left) and sophomore Avree Hurtt (right) work on gravestones for the SWAG haunted house. The "Heart of Horror" will premier Oct. 31; the first group will go through at 6:00 and the last group will go through at 8:30.
Freshman Hayden Sutton (left) and sophomore Avree Hurtt (right) work on gravestones for the SWAG haunted house. The “Heart of Horror” will premier Oct. 31; the first group will go through at 6:00 and the last group will go through at 8:30.

with Ohio State University’s BuckeyeThon to support the fight against pediatric cancer. The haunted house is a new idea to help this cause.

“It offers another opportunity for SWAG to offer something to the community and to help spread the message of the fight [against] pediatric cancer,”  SWAGathon adviser Sheri Stoyle said.

The idea of bringing a haunted house to the community came from executive council member, Jessica Sutton.

Sutton said one day after 7th grade basketball practice, Coach Stoyle took them on a tour around the old high school.

“The lights were dim, the hallways were dusty and every girl around me was terrified of the eerie ambience of every corner of the building,” Sutton said. “That was the day that the dream of having a haunted house in those seemingly age-old halls was born.”

Forty-five students have committed to helping plan and construct the haunted house, along with college students from BuckeyeThon.

Sophomore Stephen Schmitt said he helped clean out the old high school, and the project has been going well so far.

Sophomore Cate Wheeler reached out to college students from an Otterbein sorority known as EKT, and they will also be helping.

“We needed more people to help staff the haunted house,” Wheeler said. “My mom was involved with EKT when she attended Otterbein, so she helped me get in touch. The college students will receive community service hours for coming to help us.”

The cafeteria staff, Spooktrackular 5K workers, SWAGathon members, FFA, teachers and middle school students have donated recyclable items, ranging from cardboard to soup cans, to help decorate the haunted house.

In the Heart of Horror is not only inviting in kids who are looking for a scare but also offering something for the younger trick-or-treaters to enjoy. In the gym of the old high school, there will be a family-friendly area where games, treats and crafts will be available.

The haunted house will be open on Halloween night, Mon., Oct. 31, from 6-9 p.m. The last group is scheduled to go in at 8:30 p.m. The cost is five dollars per person to go through the haunted house, and the family area is free.

Sutton said if everything goes well, SWAGathon members are hoping to do the haunted house again next year.

“We’re hoping the In the Heart of Horror haunted house becomes a tradition for SWAG and the Centerburg community,” she said.

By: Isabelle Wolford