No masked creature will chase after you with a screaming chainsaw in this haunted house, but you can still expect plenty of spookiness.

Eleven students and one teacher at Cripple Creek-Victor High School were determined to not let the coronavirus stop them from donning the bloody makeup and creating a scary story. They just had to figure out how to do it virtually in the wake of the pandemic.

The Cripple Creek-Victor Pioneers Drama Program will present “CC-V: After the Lights Go Out,” a virtual haunted house, from 7-9 p.m. Friday. The free event will take place on Zoom, where 500 viewers can watch together. A link to the event can be found online at The performance also will be recorded and posted on the school’s YouTube channel.

“These guys are so devoted to the program and I couldn’t see myself saying no, we’re not doing it this year,” says the high school’s drama instructor, Annie Durham, “so how can we make it work?”

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The haunted house will be set inside the school, with scenes including surgery-gone-wrong outside the front office and a twisted tea party outside the art room. While the kids act, Durham will sit in the front office at a computer and control shooting the live event through the school’s security camera system. She’ll be on the intercom and for every shot she’ll count down to the next shot and transition to the next camera. Each scene is 30 seconds to a minute long. Altogether, there are 224 camera changes.

“The kids have to run around and get to different locations,” says Durham. “That’s been the biggest piece of the rehearsal process. They have to be quick on their feet.”

Students came up with a loose storyline about two innocent people who spend the night being tormented. There won’t be any audio, but there will be loads of special effects makeup and costumes. Clowns are included, because “they’re terrifying — everybody agrees,” says Durham. The event isn’t for little kids. Durham recommends ages 12 and older.

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The annual haunted house is the school drama program’s biggest fundraiser, and while there’s no charge to view Friday’s performance, the department has set up a Go Fund Me page for donations. Go online to

Contact the writer: 636-0270

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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