By Alyssa Louis
The thick fog dressing the Art and Interactive Multimedia Building hallways clouded Kayla Kolaritsch’s better judgement.
Despite her tendency to get frightened easily, Kolaritsch, a freshman health and exercise science major, decided she would step into a haunted virtual reality.
“Even though I knew I wasn’t in it, I still felt like I was going to pee myself,” Kolaritsch said after being unable to travel the entirety of the digital world.
The Haunted Hallway, hosted by the College’s Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques, the Association for Music Production and Discussion, Rebel Art Movement and WTSR, was held in the AIMM Building on Oct. 27.
Rooms and hallways were transformed into a scarily impressive display of student art.
The virtual reality experience, or VR, was created by Matt Kahrer, a senior interactive multimedia major, for his senior thesis in April. He felt that his design was very fitting for the event.
Kahrer provided the most “high-tech VR experience” that Dorian Armstrong, a junior mechanical engineering major, has ever had.
Each individual that wanted to go into the digital world would wear goggles to display the realistic images, a controller to navigate and headphones that played ominous music, according to Kolaritsch.
“‘Descend unto hell’ was written on the wall with blood,” Armstrong said. “Then you jumped down to find yourself in a dungeon.”
While monotonous, Kahrer’s reminders to each student about possible nausea and dizziness were necessary.
“It was not bad for a student project,” Armstrong said.
Outdoors, live music from students performers and vendors selling jewelry, T-shirts and food gathered a crowd.
Ben Spizuco, a freshman interactive multimedia major and AMPD member, was among the performers with his band, Hello Whirled.
Spizuco knew he wanted to perform at the Haunted Hallway and was thrilled when he was approached by a fellow AMPD member.
A white room with red balloons hanging from the ceiling reminded Kolaritsch of the Stephen King novel, and newly released horror film, “It.”
A splattered black mural coated parts of the walls with projected images of a train pulling into the station in red, orange and brown tones played on repeat. The eerie sounds of the wheels rushing along the track were interrupted by sporadic train whistles that echoed in the small space.
The College’s chapter of ACM SIGGRAPH was responsible for the room that contained many elements of craftsmanship and media.
Chris Raya, the SIGGRAPH vice president and a senior interactive multimedia major, described the tremendous effort of those involved with making the Haunted Hallway a success.
“A lot of hours, going to supply stores, and creativity,” were among the necessary components, Raya said.
The second room was converted into the bloody demise of a teacher’s pet.
SIGGRAPH tried to create a narrative within a classroom space, according to Raya.
Desks were strewn all over the room, fake blood was dripped onto the floor, and a person made of paper hung from the ceiling by a rope strung around its neck.
They wanted viewers to be able to interact with the exhibit, so they painted “teacher’s pet” on the wall, surrounded by red handprints and caution tape. There was also a chair in front of the display, which allowed students to sit and take pictures, according to Raya.
“I thought it would be more of a haunted house, but it was more of an art exhibit,” Kolaritsch said, amazed that she was able to be frightened by art and digital media.