On Saturday, Oct. 25, those that passed by the ancient, Victorian style house on Ontario Street heard screams of terror coming from inside its blacked out windows and vine wrapped brick. Brock’s Zeta Psi Fraternity hosted a Halloween Haunted House Tour, welcoming all members of the community to come and enjoy a truly terrifying haunted house experience. Few houses can pull off the natural foreboding that Hollywood thrillers are known for, but the gentlemen of Zeta Psi took it upon themselves to create the most authentic scare factory they could, and they did so with resounding success.
The house itself is one of the oldest in St. Catharines, lending its antiquity to the fearful tone of the Halloween season with three stories of dark, confined hallways, making it the perfect location for a haunted house. With members of the fraternity being a part of the organization Big Brothers and Big Sisters of St. Catharines-Thorold District, many of the kids and young adults that passed through the terrifying corridors of the house were actually participating members of the Big Brothers and Sisters organization. The event saw a steady number of people tour through the house at various times throughout the afternoon, with all proceeds going back to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program.
Throughout the day, members of the fraternity spread themselves throughout the house, adorning grotesque masks and costumes, preparing themselves for the big scare. During the tour, those brave enough to journey through found themselves faced with ethereal sounds of the afterlife, the discordant tinkling of piano keys reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Psycho as well as slamming doors and lurking figures jumping out of the shadows. It became quickly apparent that the gentlemen of Zeta Psi were having just as much fun running the event as the children that were participating in it. Genuine screams of terror are what make for a successful haunted house, and the Zeta Psi event was in no short supply.
The members of Zeta Psi were also quick to dismiss the stereotypes that people often associate with the fraternity lifestyle.
“The one thing that binds the members of Zeta Psi fraternity together is our mutual pursuit of becoming men of distinction. To be able to pass on the things that we have learned to young boys by mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters is very rewarding”, said Lewis Lauson, the coordinator of the event. Historic fraternity personalities such as John Belushi in Animal House, and the more recent portrayal by Zac Efron in the movie Neighbours, are what the Zeta Psi fraternity of Brock University shy away from. Other events, such as the blood drive and the annual contributions that they make to the S.N.A.P. program, prove that this fraternity is much more socially aware than their binge-drinking and destructive Hollywood counterparts. “We do the Haunted House event every year to raise some money for them,” said Lauson, “to benefit the participants and the St. Catharines community!”