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WASU haunted house canceled

Photo submitted to Times Observer The WASU Haunted House will not be held this Halloween.

It’s been a tradition for over 20 years, but the Warren Area Student Union Haunted House will not be held this week.

“WASU students and staff are sad to announce that WASU will not be having the haunted house at this time,” WASU Director Pam Falber said.

It is another community casualty of COVID-19.

“Each year, the 30-plus students involved in the event plan, build, and perform in this terrifying attraction, with a detailed theme chosen by the students,” WASU Director Pam Falber said. “In general, the planning process typically begins in July, with work up to the dates of the event.”

“Warren Area Student Union has been achieving the task of an annual haunted house for over 20 years, with multiple generations of students having participated in this event each year,” Falber said. “All of the WASU youth, along with the spectators that come through yearly, love this event and look forward to it each year.”

COVID interfered early in the process.

“Our students met to consider alternative safe ways to present the haunted house this year, but due to COVID-19, unfortunately, our well-intended efforts did not succeed,” she said.

The annual event brings about 500 people through the old armory building each year and is the organization’s primary fund-raiser.

“We had hoped this year the raised funds would help with the desperately needed new heating system for the building,” Falber said. “We have been trying to raise $40,000 for this heating system for a year now. While we have received contributions from several churches and businesses and are grateful for their generosity, we still find ourselves far from our goal.”

“If anyone is interested in donating to WASU to help us meet our goal, donations can be sent to 330 Hickory Street,” she said. “All donations are an investment in a space for county youth to work together constructively and are greatly appreciated.”

There are other Halloween plans in the works.

“Our students are working to create a short movie to post for the public,” Falber said. “In addition, we are also holding discussions about the possibility of being outside of WASU on Halloween night for passersby.”

And, it is possible that there could be a WASU Haunted House that is not associated with Halloween.

“There is one certainty despite this pandemic, and that is that it does not have to be Halloween to have the haunted house,” she said. “As soon we are back on track, we fully intend to create a new scare for our community.”

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