A smiling presence awaits you in the dark, and it is FUSAB! After hosting its Haunted Trail indoors in Plyler last year, FUSAB is happy to announce they will bring their nefarious activities outside today, Oct. 20, from 8-10 p.m at the amphitheater. 

FUSAB’s Haunted Trail is an annual tradition at Furman: a high-production haunted house featuring multiple rooms, each with distinct frights. This year’s theme is the awe-inspiring “Sinister Circus” set at Furman’s Amphitheater. If you were frightened by the 2016 clown sightings as a middle schooler, this year’s Haunted Trail will be a nostalgic horror endeavor.

As attendees wait to go on the trail, they will be welcomed into the foyer on the amphitheater stage, where they can check in, get food, and play carnival games from 8-10 p.m. Guests are also welcome to sit on the grass and watch a screening of “Halloweentown” and the beginning of “Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge,” on an inflatable screen. Both warm-up attractions are sure to get attendees in the Halloween spirit.

The trail will run behind the amphitheater, with four tents on the tree line and a path connecting them, which will weave into the woods. The trail will be lit with string lights, and attendees will be given a flashlight to see the frights in between rooms. 

If attendees are worried about the level of intensity, they can be assured that it depends on their comfort levels. Those who do not like jump scares will be given a red glow stick, and those seeking the full fright will be given a green glow stick. Actors will be given instructions to gauge what the groups want from their experience, using the glow sticks as an indicator.

When asked about the planning process for the trail, head organizer Lydia Beachum ’24 said the entire event was devised and prepared in just under a year. That is quite a feat when you consider all the moving parts. 

It is “an incredibly logistically challenging event to plan,” said Beachum. 

Beachum was inspired to create her Sinister Circus by watching live streams of other horror haunts which demonstrated the versatility of the circus theme. Circuses feature many signature characters and settings, making each room of Haunted Trail unpredictable. The trail is also outside to fit the theme as the amphitheater and tents will serve to simulate the look of an outdoor circus. 

“We’re always looking for ways to innovate with Haunted Trail - especially the location,” Beachum said.

The push for innovation seems to influence FUSAB events as a whole. But what does this mean when it comes to this upcoming haunt? Seeing it for yourself is only one way to find out. Beyond theme and location, FUSAB does not disclose specific Haunted Trail frights – but that’s part of the fun.

Beachum said she felt lucky to have a supportive committee that made this event come to life. 

“I definitely could not have done it without them!” she said.

The committee has about 15 members, and they have been meeting every week since the start of the semester. They brainstorm ideas, place orders, and write scripts for actors. Every detail of the experience has been considered to provide quality entertainment to the student body. 

The event will also be staffed with nearly every member of FUSAB as they enthusiastically wait in the dark to scare and entertain students today. FUSAB has set up an event to unite the Furman community, one tonsil-twisting scream and circus peanut at a time. You will not want to miss it!