See Video Tours of our past Haunted Houses!
This year is the 41st anniversary of the Hollis Haunted House, which has been a tradition since 1977. Each year, close to 1000 people go through, and everyone has a great time! The Haunted House occurs on one evening per year, on a Saturday shortly before Halloween. More than 100 parents, community volunteers, and high school students build a complete and elaborate Haunted House inside the school starting on a Friday evening, and continuing into Saturday. That Saturday, late in the afternoon, the Haunted House opens its doors to frighten and entertain its patrons. The primary target audience is elementary, middle school, and high school students, but anyone from the community is welcome to attend (and they do)!
The Halloween Fun Fair takes place on the same afternoon and evening as the Haunted House, but ends before the Haunted House ends. The Fun Fair is great Halloween-themed fun for younger children, typically kindergarten through 3rd grade. Please see the Fun Fair page for more information on that event.
Net proceeds from both events benefit Hollis Elementary School student enrichment programs presented by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).
"Lights On" and "Lights Off." At the Hollis Haunted House, ghoulish ushers lead people through the Haunted House in small groups. The Haunted House is fairly scary, and enjoyed by older children, teens, and adults. It is not recommended for children under 9 years of age. However, the first few hours of the Haunted House are the very popular "Lights On," where the lights are on, the characters are friendly, and no scary masks are used. While still (unintentionally) scary for very young children, "Lights On" is enjoyed by kids ages 7-8, and also by children 9+ who are a bit intimidated by the scariness of the normal Haunted House or who want to "try it out." Following the "Lights On" hours, the Haunted House re-opens with "Lights Off," its normal evening presentation, for children and adults ages 9 and older. Many children go through once with "Lights On" so they know what to expect, and then come back a short while later to go through with "Lights Off" to enjoy the full experience.
Haunted House Sections. The Hollis Haunted House changes every year, with new improvements, fresh ideas, and additional enthusiastic volunteers. The Haunted House is divided into sections connected together, and the ushers lead the patrons from one section into the next. Each year, many portions of the Haunted House are replaced with new features. No two years of the Hollis Haunted House are ever the same.
The "No Wait" Waiting Line. Many years ago, we used to have a problem with long lines for the Haunted House. There also used to be problems with enthusiastic teens inviting their friends to join them in line, effectively cutting in front of the patiently waiting people behind them. Starting in 2007, we fixed both of these problems with a system similar to the one used by Southwest Airlines for boarding an aircraft, and the new system has been very well received. In the new procedure, when you arrive for the Haunted House, you go to the Haunted House ticket table and exchange your Haunted House ticket for a Boarding Pass. The first 40 Boarding Passes have the letter "A" on them. The next 40 have a letter "B," and so on. The Haunted House first admits anyone with a letter "A" on their Boarding Pass, then when that line empties we admit anyone with a "B" or lower ("B" or "A"), then when the line empties again we admit anyone with "C" or lower, etc. We clearly post the "Currently Boarding" group letters prominently at the entrance to the Haunted House line. You can relax, because there is no way to be "late" for your boarding group. You can go in anytime after your boarding group is called — you can feel free to have some food at the snack bar or go enjoy the Halloween Fun Fair for a while, then come back later to see if they have reached (or passed) your boarding letter group. Also, there is little use in anyone "cutting" in line, because if we aren't admitting their boarding group yet, they won't be able to go in anyway. The new procedure is more relaxing for everyone, allowing more people to enjoy the snack bar and Fun Fair, and also (if it's raining) it means that people don't need to wait very long in the rain. There are separate lettered Boarding Passes for "Lights On" and "Lights Off," so you can get boarding passes for both of these anytime.
Thanks for dropping by here, and we hope you will haunt with us! For more information about the Haunted House, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Randy Forgaard at 320-6463. And remember, we are always looking for volunteers!