Greek organizations prepare scare tactics

Ed Sheets, Tom Park, Contributing Writers

Walking through a pitch-black building with only friends and hands for guidance, one can smell the products of the fog machines. Adrenaline pumps with rising anxiety from the suspense of something or someone popping out.

A haunted house can be nerve-wracking.

Pitt-Johnstown sorority Phi Sigma Sigma members are holding a haunted house at 7 p.m. Oct. 31 at their house in front of the Student Union.

“We hope that more people come this year than last year. We are trying to raise money for our cause,” said Phi Sigma Sigma sister and junior Shelbi Cervenec,

Last year, their haunted house theme was the movie “Amityville Horror.” They decorated the inside of the house, providing a specific pathway for visitors.

Phi Sigma sister Caitlin McCarthy described this year’s haunted house.

“We plan to have the entrance at the front door, and then the people will go upstairs, through the lobby, then down the stairs toward the back of the house, then through the lobby on the bottom floor.”

The haunted house is to cost $2 for students and $5 for nonstudents.

Greek organization members from Alpha Phi Omega and Acacia are to help with the Phi Sigma Sigma haunted house. This year’s theme will be “The Exorcism.”

The help is to include assistance to set up the haunted house and playing the character theme.

“We always want people to help us with a big project like this,” said McCarthy.

“We want to get one of the fraternities to help us so that it will go faster, and we wanted Alpha Phi Omega to help us because we like to get other organizations involved.”

Alpha Phi Omega President Stephen Torquato said he wanted the fraternity to be more involved with campus life.

“I want the new pledges of Alpha Phi Omega to get an understanding of what it is to help other organizations.”

Cervenec and McCarthy said they would like for the haunted house to be scarier this year.

Phi Sigma Sigma is not alone in Greek Halloween plans.

Sigma Tau Gamma Programs Vice President Bill Rush said members will hold a Halloween party.

“We will be doing a costume party where everyone is encouraged to dress up,” Rush said.

The Spirit Halloween store at the Galleria mall has costumes, accessories and decorations for the holiday.

“Our most popular costumes this year include Monster High and The Avengers for kids,” Spencer’s Gifts Communication Coordinator Kevin Mahoney said. “And Kim Kardashian and Barack Obama for adults.”

Johnstown resident Megan Urban said she shops at these kinds of stores because of their convenience.

“I usually buy my Halloween costume because it comes with everything you need, whether it be makeup or accessories, which saves time,” Urban said.

With the price of costumes rising, the Goodwill store along Eisenhower Boulevard. offers shoppers lower-priced alternatives.

“We sell costumes at low prices that other people paid full price for to wear only once,” said Goodwill employee Renee Bailey.

Bailey said costumes sold at her store cost less than $20.

She also said some people use items in the store to make their own costumes.

“People make mobster and zombie costumes using clothing and accessories from the store,” said Bailey.

Windber resident Sarah Pellio said she saves money by making costumes for her family.

“Each of us decides what we want to dress up as, then we visit stores like Goodwill and Michaels to get materials for the costumes,” said Pellio.

Pellio said the average amount she spends on each costume is about $10.