Visit the high school of horrors

By From page B5 | October 26, 2012

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MEALTIME with the lunch lady (Kaela Chisick) is not so appetizing. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

Welcome to Afterlife High where toxic waste overflows in the science lab, fingers (not finger food) are served up in the lunchroom and rattlesnakes slither across the locker room showers.

For the third year Hands4Hope — Youth Making a Difference has created a spooky haunted house that will send chills down your spine. Afterlife High, a haunted high school originally built on ancient burial grounds and painstakingly recreated by volunteers, haunts a corner of El Dorado Hills Town Center’s New Orleans Building.

The 2,700-square-foot school of terror, designed and built by youth volunteers and adults, includes horrors much greater than those fears of being stuffed in a locker.

Oak Ridge High School student Riley Fitzpatrick, who has volunteered at the Hands4Hope’s haunted house since it began said going through make-up is tough but worth it.

“This is his calling,” Hands4Hope founder Jennifer Basset said.

“Scaring children,” Fitzpatrick agreed.

Watch for him in the lunchroom serving up rats, limbs and something that looks like it might have leaked from barrels in the science lab. He could also pop out of dark corners in a classroom. Beware …

Kaela Chisick, 14, also knows her way around the gory lunchroom, opting to serve up rats because, she matter-of-factly said, “I don’t do snakes.”

If any Afterlife High visitors get too squeamish — there are severed limbs hanging from the ceiling — Hands4Hope offers an early exit.

The Good Fairy is also back. With a wave of her wand the high school horrors will freeze or slink away. That might come in handy when visitors reach the nurse’s office or the ghoulish prom.

Last year more than 3,500 people braved Hands4Hope’s Haunted Ghost Town, raising about $39,000 for the El Dorado Hills based nonprofit’s youth development and outreach programs, according to Bassett.

Haunting takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, Oct. 26, 27 and 28, and on Halloween night, Oct. 31. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m. on Sundays and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Halloween.

Tickets are $9 per person and can be bought in advance at Face in a Book and the California Welcome Center in Town Center or at the door, 4370 Town Center Blvd., Suite 150.

For more information visit or call 916-919-5695.

Noel Stack

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