MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --
In the month leading up to Halloween, Airmen with the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron constructed Misawa’s haunted house, dedicating more than 1,800 hours with the help of nearly 100 volunteers.
The house showcased 17 themed rooms modeled after Slender Man, clowns, The Conjuring, Silent Hill and Freddy Kruger on Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27. Over the course of those chilling, yet thrilling, four days, more than 600 people from across the installation and community experienced all that the engineers could muster.
Months before its construction, design teams came together researching, developing and designing the spooky masterpiece. Airman 1st Class Steven Belfy, a 35th CES heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technician and his flight’s lead creator on the design team, said he created the final room hoping to make people feel confined.
“I constructed narrow walls to give participants a sense of claustrophobia on one side of the room and a wide-open division on the other,” Belfy explained. “We achieved our goal by creating a tunnel out of wood and cardboard lined with plastic.”
Though some helpers shaped room ideas for the occasion, others, like Sarah Duffy, a 35th CES admin, applied makeup to the characters.
“Seeing all of the volunteers get together while painting faces was very fun and exciting,” said Duffy. “They really enjoyed scaring people who gave priceless reactions.”
Joining the responses of attendees while walking through the house, Airman 1st Class Johnny Guzman, a 35th Medical Support Squadron, medical logistics technician described his first time at a haunted house as exciting.
"The thrill of walking through the dark areas was my favorite part," said Guzman. "I really appreciate the teams who took their time of day to build the house and add their spice to each room."
After tallying up last year's screams, Belfy knew there was room for improvement. So this year, he really provided the “wow” factor.
“I wanted attendees to leave with an unforgettable experience,” described Belfy. “Our goal is for people to walk away feeling scared but talking about their time with others for repeat and increased attendees next year.”