‘Winter Chiller’ returns after two years

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Ashwin Kishor

A clown rushes after students with a chainsaw after they exit the haunted house. “I liked the Chiller,” Elizabeth Boxold said. “Seeing all of the different costumes was one of the best parts of it for me.”

For the first time since 2019, Bak Middle School of the Arts hosted their “Fall Thriller,” renamed the “Winter Chiller,” on Feb. 19, 2022.

“It was amazing,” Keith Nixon, seventh-grade theater major, said. “The seventh-graders did not get a Fall Thriller last year, so it was a fun first-time experience.”

The Visual Arts department created a haunted house for students to enjoy. Eighth-grade visual arts students were able to work on it.

“I liked working on the haunted house. It really was interesting seeing it behind the scenes,” JJ Geiman, eighth-grade visual arts major, said. “I think it made the kids more excited to go to the ‘Chiller.’”

The haunted house was a hit amongst students. Filled with stunning visuals and jump scares around every corner, including one from Spanish teacher José Echezarreta, it proved to be a good time for most.

“I liked the haunted house. I was not too scared because a lot of it was jump-scares, but I found the amount of work and skill put into making it admirable,” Boxold said.

COVID-19 had an effect on the “Chiller.” Originally called the “Fall Thriller,” it was supposed to be set around Halloween of 2021. However, due to COVID-19 related restrictions, it was pushed to December, and then rescheduled for February.

“I do not think COVID significantly affected the Chiller itself, except for people wearing masks, at least from what I can remember from sixth grade,” Boxold said.

Despite their overall enjoyment, there were some things that students would change about the Chiller to make it an even better experience for all, including incoming sixth graders.

“I wish there was better chaperoning near the haunted house,” Geiman said. “If there was, kids would not cut in line so much, and fewer people would have gotten upset.”

Overall, students had a fun time at the Chiller. For some eighth graders, it was bittersweet. They only had one event like this, back in 2019, and the 2020 Fall Thriller was canceled due to COVID concerns. With the eighth graders departing at the end of the year, this was their last Chiller.

Boxold said, “I enjoyed it. It was fun, but I don’t think I will miss it too terribly. There will be other events in the future that I will probably like just as much.”