SMU Medical Brigade: A McHaunted Hospital

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*Editor’s Note: This story has been updated throughout.

The walls were covered in bloody hand prints, arm limbs hung from the ceilings and zombie doctors lurked around every corner. Those who walked through were victims of piercing screams and constant paranoia.

It may sound like a scene out of a horror movie, but it was a fundraiser on SMU McElvaney’s quad. Excessive amounts of duct tape and pop-up tents later, a spooky walk through house was created. The McHaunted Hospital is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the SMU Medical Brigades chapter.

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McHaunted Hospital Photo credit: Kaitlin Ostling
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Props for McHaunted Hospital. Photo credit: Keagan Snively
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Props for McHaunted Hospital. Photo credit: Keagan Snively

Global Brigades is an international organization that grew out of college students wanting to make a change. SMU’s chapter is a medical brigade. Once a year SMU students travel to South America to set up a free clinic for the indigenous population.

“It is their only chance to get any kind of health care or medications basically all year round,” Kaitlin Ostling, president of Global Brigades said.

Tickets to the haunted house were $7. Ostling, a senior law student at SMU, said that last year this event raised $700, but putting on a fundraiser isn’t an easy task.

“Anyone who has ever tried to get a grounds request knows it’s a lot of signatures, running around, and getting permission from the police and school,” she said.

This was the event’s third year, but the first to receive help from McElvaney Commons. Many students volunteered their time and put their zombie acting skills to the test.

“I love creepy things, so when I saw the opportunity to scare people I thought yes I’m going to go for it,” freshman Kylie Ritter said while dressed in her zombie attire.

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Kylie Ritter as a zombie patient Photo credit: Keagan Snively
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Volunteer zombie doctor Photo credit: Keagan Snively

The volunteers said they used their own past experiences of haunted houses to do the best job they could. Their screams rattled every eardrum in the McElvaney quad as people filed through the haunted house.

“It has been fun scaring people,” freshman scare volunteer Austin Collins said. “But it is nice to be on this end of things instead of being the one to get scared.”

These students were often successful at terrorizing those who dared to walk through, including freshman Shayla Dye and Justin Yao.

“It (the haunted house) was small but they fit a lot in the space they had and the actors stayed in character well,” Dye said. “I was impressed.”

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Inside the McHaunted Hospital Photo credit: Keagan Snively
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Justin Yao and Shayla Dye won prizes Photo credit: Keagan Snively

Yao agreed and added that there were many good elements of surprise that made him jump. When Yao and Dye were told that the proceeds went to help fund the SMU Medical Brigades chapter, they were happy they took the time and $7 to walk through.

“It may not be the scariest haunted house ever,” Ostling said, “But what makes it fun is students getting together and it all going towards a great cause.”

*Disclaimer: Keagan Snively is a contributor for The Daily Campus.

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