Volunteers work to scare away cancer

People walk through the Warren County Asylum on Friday in Bowling Green.  The “Cancer Cops” Relay For Life team has organized the haunted house that will run during the weekends in October.

Natalie West

For the next few weekends, Greenville freshman Kelsey Dossett will be dressing like a porcelain doll.

Dossett is volunteering at the Warren County Asylum Haunted House, which is organized by the Bowling Green Police Department. The house is raising money for Relay for Life.

“I have had four people in my family with cancer and the American Cancer Society helped them,” she said. “So I wanted to step up and help out with this.”

Because the theater major had previously worked at a haunted house and loved it, she said she also volunteered to get a good scare out of people.

“I don’t like going through, because it scares me,” Dossett said, “but I love being the one who runs and scares everybody.”

She said the hardest part is trying to stay in character, because you want to laugh. She loves seeing the people’s faces and their eyes bug out.

“The reactions of people are funny,” Dossett said. “Especially the guys because they try to act tough, but you know they are legitimately frightened.”

Even when she isn’t scaring people, Dossett said she has a good time with the other volunteers.

“It’s a really fun environment and everyone is so inviting and nice,” she said. “Even though some of them are cops, they are fun and they aren’t threatening.”

Jen Edwards, the director of volunteers for the asylum, works for the Bowling Green Police Department and is also the captain of her Relay for Life team, the Cancer Cops.

Edwards said this is the first year for this fundraiser.

All of the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

The police department already had an empty building to use located at 707 East Main Ave. on Reservoir Hill, Edwards said.

“The building in itself is creepy without us even doing anything to it,” she said.

Edwards said that everyone will get a good scare, and one girl left crying from the asylum’s opening weekend.

“Since the police department is involved, you know you’ve got some twisted minds going in to these ideas,” she joked.

The theme of the haunted house is based on the Halloween movies directed by Bowling Green native John Carpenter. Edwards said Carpenter will be making an appearance on Oct. 20.

Another volunteer, Radcliffe freshman Kayla Hamilton, said she is excited about meeting Carpenter, even though she said she hates scary movies.

Hamilton, who recently completed her first weekend volunteering, said she has enjoyed working at the haunted house.

Edwards said the asylum has had a great turnout of volunteers.

“The amount has been ridiculous,” she said. “So good that we have had to create roles for people as more people keep asking for parts.”

Edwards said they are still taking volunteers and won’t turn anyone away.

Lancaster senior Hannah Denny is also planning to volunteer along with other members of Kappa Delta Pi.

Denny is the president of the organization, which is the international honors society for education majors.

“KDPi has really lacked in participation the last few years and not a lot has been done with the program,” she said.

Denny said that she and the other officers thought volunteering at the haunted house sounded really fun and knew it would be for a good cause.

“We can sign up to be an actor or sell tickets,” she said. “We get to choose whatever is more comfortable for us.”

She will be acting as one of the cops at the end of the house, because she didn’t want to be “a crazy person.”

“I don’t like anything scary,” she said. “I’m a big chicken.”

Overall, Denny agreed with the other volunteers that it will be a fun experience and it will definitely be interesting being on the other side of the scaring.

“Any time you can go somewhere and have fun and help someone else out,” Denn said, “then it’s a win-win situation.”