On Friday, October 27, from 5:30 - 7:30 before the Halloween dance put on by S.U.R.E. (Stu- dents United For Racial Equality), Hopkins had its own version of a Haunted House here on The Hill.
Transforming Lovell into an adventure of ghosts and mysteries is a tradition at Hopkins that began over a decade ago. In the Class President’s Handbook from 1999, Aaron Zelinsky ’02 explained “Three years ago  the Upper School made a haunted house in the Old Gym [now the Kneisel Squash Center] and charged one dollar admittance.” However, the only Haunted House current Student Council President Donasia Gray ’18 ever experienced at Hopkins “took place two years ago, under the administration of Will Simon ’16 and the vision of Sam Jenkins ‘19.”
Despite being extremely well received by students, Student Council was unable to put on the Haunted House during the 2016- 2017 school year. “We wanted to do it last year, but the idea sort of fell under the rug because Homecoming was so close to Halloween,” said Deepak Gupta ’18, current Senior Class President.
This year, due to popular demand, Student Council decided to bring back the Haunted House to Hopkins. Gray and Jenkins thought the Haunted House would be a fun way to kick off the Canned Food Drive and get Hopkins into the spirit of fundraising. “The Haunted House allows us to raise money for the CT Food Bank in a way besides fundraising, which appeals to those who are unable to fundraise, as well as those excited at the prospect of a good scare in the spirit of Halloween!” explained Gray.
The Haunted House was organized by many members of Student Council in collaboration with the Hopkins Drama Association through Colin Flaumenhaft ’18, Leigh Melillo ’19, and drama instructor Mike Calderone. Nate Stratton ’19 remembered that while acting in the Haunted House during the 2015-2016 school year, “I was pretending to be decapitated on stage and made a little boy cry.” A second layer of fright was added to the event this year with the much anticipated theme of horror movies. “Utilizing people who enjoy acting, along with this year’s theme, gave the Haunted House an edge” said Gray.
Other than the Haunted House, Student Council is always looking for ways to raise more money for the Canned Food Drive. “This year we hope to ensure that all the grades are doing the most that they can to help raise money for the Canned Food Drive,” says Gupta. Although the idea is not finalized, Gray is working on inviting Hamden Hall to Yule Ball this year, in the true spirit of the holidays: “Having Hamden Hall come to Yule would hopefully double dance proceeds for the food bank, which is normally around $5,000.”
Student Council and the student body were ecstatic to see everyone’s work from the past month come to fruition and foreshadow the excitement of the fundraising season, which officially begins on Saturday November 4.