Astronomy club to host Haunted Fort Roberdeau


Maddie Cowfer

Astronomy Club hosts trick or treat and a haunted trail Oct. 8. Astronomy club started Haunted Fort Roberdeau back in 2017.

Maddie Cowfer, Reporter

On Saturday Oct. 8, from 7:45 p.m.-9:30 p.m., the astronomy club will be hosting Haunted Fort Roberdeau, along with trick–or–treating from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Astronomy club established Haunted Fort Roberdeau in 2017 as a way for the club to make money.

“When we started, it was a fundraiser for the mountain lion observatory. We haunt the trail surrounding Fort Roberto. And if the guests survive the haunted trail, we have the Mountain Lion Observatory open, so they can have a viewing of the skies that fall,” adviser Jim Krug said.

Haunted Fort Roberdeau also hosts trick–or–treating for students kindergarten through sixth grade before the haunted trail starts.

“Since the trail was kind of scary, three years ago, we added the Danny Ivory Memorial trick–or–treat night. Danny Ivory was a friend of mine, and he worked at Blair Candy, and he died suddenly a couple years ago. They have been very generous at Blair Candy, and they have donated candy ever since,” Krug said.

For the first time, the Foreign Language Club will be hiding along the trail with the Astronomy Club.

“There could be upwards of 100 Astronomy Club members hiding out in the woods surrounding the Fort. I just found out that Foreign Language Club might be volunteering as well, and that’s upwards of another 70 students. So if you’re a fan of haunted houses, this has way more actors and actresses than any other house around,” Krug said.

Haunted Fort Roberdeau has a $5 fee per person, and $10 per carload to get into the trail.

“The actual trail starts at 7:45 p.m., and even though the fliers say 9:30 p.m., that’s when we stop taking people into line to the trail itself. It will probably go until about 10 p.m. But it’s good that it’s only a little over two hours because what I found over the last couple of years is club members actually get pretty tired haunting and scaring guests,” Krug said.

In years past, the Astronomy Club has had over 1100 people attend.

“Our goal this year is definitely to be over 1000 people, and it is a lot of people from the Altoona area. But people actually have people come from pretty far away because they not only liked haunted houses, but they liked the idea of a haunted house,” Krug said.

Along with students volunteering, there will also be parents helping out with the concession stand and with tickets.

“While the trail is going on, the fort gift shop will also be open. We will have a DJ there, and we’ll have popcorn, hot dogs and snacks,” Krug said.

Some students participate in Haunted Fort Roberdeau to spend time with their friends and promote their club.

“I wanted to participate in Haunted Fort Roberdeau to give everyone a great experience, especially with a holiday as big as Halloween. I thought it would be a very fun way to hang out with friends and provide a fun scary atmosphere to those who came out to the Fort,” Junior Caleb Fries said.

Some students volunteer to be a part of Haunted Fort Roberdeau to be able to scare others.

“My favorite part about Haunted Fort Roberdeau is definitely being able to scare everyone. It’s exciting and fun to see people shriek with terror one moment and laugh about it in the next. It feels awesome to give people that experience and it feels awesome to be able to put on an amazing production with the club,” Fries said.

There are multiple different ways students can sign up and help participate in Haunted Fort Roberdeau.

“You can do a lot to participate. You could be up on the trail scaring people as they walk by which is what I would like to do. You can also help out with the little kids and be a tour guide as well. It depends on what you’re into,” Junior Mackenzie Musser said.

Students get a chance to express their originality in their costumes along with scarring the guests.

“My favorite part of Haunted Fort Roberdeau is the creativity and freedom you can have when it comes to what you’re doing as long as it’s within the rules. I also really like how dramatic everyone can be when it comes to dressing up and scaring people,” Musser said.