Newspaper presents “Spooky Scale”

In order to prepare for the upcoming Halloween holiday, four members of the newspaper staff went to find the scariest places around the area.

The trip began at 7 p.m. on Oct. 29. The group piled into one car and drove out to the burnt down church near Catharine.

The burnt down church in Catherine.
The burnt down church in Catharine.

“The church is really pretty in the daytime,” senior Maddie Crees said. “But since it was really dark, it was pretty hard to even get out of the car.”

The church was built from 1899 to 1901 with the first Mass on Christmas day 1901.  Due to declining population at the parish, it was closed on August 6, 1967.  On Oct. 12, 1998, the church was  destroyed by fire.  The cause of the fire was suspicious and only the limestone walls remained.

The group decided to attempt to venture inside of the burnt church.

The shadows of each newspaper member against the church walls.
The shadows of each newspaper member against the church walls.

“We didn’t really want to go inside any more than we did,” senior Jordyn Dake said. “There were dogs barking, it was really dark, and it just felt really freaky.”

Overall, the group rated the area 8/10 on the spooky scale.

A few feet behind the church is a cemetery, which the group traveled to next.

The cemetery behind the Catherine church.
The cemetery behind the Catharine church.

“I don’t know what’s so creepy about dead people,” Crees said. “But I definitely couldn’t get out of the car for this cemetery.”

The newspaper staff rated the cemetery 7/10.

Next on the groups list was Prairie Acres, a small development near the sports complex.

Junior Amiyah Gonzalez said the area is scary at night due to the hills at the end of the development.

Since it was pitch black outside, the group couldn’t see the hills, but the adventure to Prairie Acres was still terrifying.

“There were some dogs outside and we couldn’t tell if they were on leashes or not,” Dake said. “They starting coming at us and we all just took off. I think I peed my pants a little bit.”

This picture was taken after being chased by dogs in Prairie Acres.
This picture was taken after being chased by dogs in Prairie Acres.

Because of the overall experience at Prairie Acres, the group rated it a 9/10.

Next, the group went to Frontier Park.

Once again, the group didn’t step foot out of the car. A man in a clown suit appeared to be hanging out near the playground equipment.

“If we would have stayed there a second longer I would’ve ripped my insides out or something,” Crees said. “I can talk a big game, but then I get into the situation and yell ‘gotta blast.’ I am really not ready to deal with things like the clowns.”

The group rated the area 7/10 due to overall experience.

The last place the group visited was downtown Hays, where Hays Community Theater was conducting their “Haunted Tours”.

“The people following us even though we weren’t actually a part of the tour is what freaked me out most,” senior Anniston Weber said. “I do not like being followed.”

Two members from the "Haunted Tours" downtown.
Two members from the “Haunted Tours” downtown.

Gonzalez said she believes the only reason downtown was scary was because of the tours.

“We’d yell at them and tell them we didn’t pay for the tour but they’d still come over to us,” Gonzalez said.

The group rated the area 5/10.

“I think we all had a lot of fun on this tour,” Crees said. “I feel like the overall experience was much scarier because there were only four of us this year.”

Seniors Anniston Weber, Maddie Crees, junior Amiyah Gonzalez and senior Jordyn Dake.
Seniors Anniston Weber, Maddie Crees, junior Amiyah Gonzalez and senior Jordyn Dake.

PSA: Our group had a lot of fun on this tour, but it’s important to remember to take safety precautions before going on a tour of your own. The following is a list of things you should take into consideration before your spooky tours trip.

  1. Make sure the places you’re visiting are public. Being caught on privately owned property can get you in trouble with the law enforcement which could lead to charges.
  2. Don’t go alone. Find a group of people to go on your tour with you. It’s always safer to travel in groups.
  3. Don’t stay out too late. Curfew on weekends for Hays is midnight.
  4. Make sure you have parental permission if you are under 18.
  5. Make sure you have a cellphone that is charged. If you happen to get lost, you will need a charged phone to call someone to help you.
  6. Consider bringing a flashlight. If your phone DOES die, having a flashlight on hand would be very beneficial.
  7. Have a full tank of gas. Getting stranded out in the country would not be a pleasant experience.