Lambda Chi scares up haunted house philanthropy

Lindsay Hostert

The Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brothers were out to send shivers up the spines of Iowa State students with their twisted-carnival themed haunted house Oct. 19 and 20.

Named Gorevile Manor, the attraction is built by the fraternity brothers within their house. The brothers dress up in costumes and make students jump at every corner of the scary maze. Inside the house, students found the brothers acting out different skits to go along with the twisted-carnival theme.

Walking down Ash Avenue, students are able to get a glimpse of the madness within. The brothers constructed huge dungeon walls, giving the entrance of the house a dark, eerie feeling. If that’s not enough, a sign was posted outside, warning visitors to beware of what lies within. And lastly, a fully functioning gallows was menacingly sitting to the right of the Gorevile Manor entrance to spook those who passed by.

The Lambda Chi Alpha brothers have been constructing a haunted house and scaring students for an estimated 34 years.

David Hagopian, president of Lambda Chi Alpha and senior studying environmental science explained: “It started in a church, and it was just one scene, now it has turned into about five or six skits and a maze.”

The Lambda Chi Alpha brothers are known for their signature “Thriller” dance they perform for the crowds when Gorevile is open.

“We do ‘Thriller’ every hour, on the hour,” Hagopian said. The brothers dress up and perform the choreography from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.

“We’ve held it as a traditional philanthropy every year,” Hagopian said.

The proceeds from Lambda Chi Alpha went to ChildServe, an organization that helps families with children who have special health needs and disabilities. The brothers have had success in the past years with the Gorevile attraction, raising over $100,000 for ChildServe.

The men spent about two weeks preparing and constructing this petrifying attraction for the students.

“We’re proud as college students to put this together each year,” Hagopian said. “It gives students a good scare.” 

Shaun Francik, vice president of Lambda Chi Alpha, Gorevile chairman and senior in biology, said: “Having our overall theme of a creepy carnival was pretty cool because all of our skit rooms were based on that theme.”

Jack Harney, fraternity educator at Lambda Chi Alpha and junior in advertising, added: “The best part of Gorevile is always knowing that no matter how stressful it gets, it always ends [knowing] a nice chunk of money is going to ChildServe.”

As for the future of Gorevile, Harney said: “I hope that it continues to be successful financially, as well as a great bonding opportunity for my brothers and to continue to have the opportunity to entertain the community each year.”

The Lambda Chi Alpha brothers hope to continue this traditional, spooky philanthropy, Gorevile Manor, for years to come, “Expect big changes in coming years,” Hagopian said.