CLINTON — A Clinton High School student bullied by his classmates years ago will soon return to his alma mater for a school reunion his tormentors will never forget.
That’s the premise for a horror show scheduled to open Thursday and continue through Halloween night in the old Clinton High School on Plank Road, which was built in 1938 but abandoned after the class of 1985 graduated.
East Feliciana Community Center Inc., a group that wants to restore and renovate the three-story building for use as a community center, is collaborating with Scott Thomas of the Louisiana Film Center and Elizabeth Lynch, of Carencro, to stage the production.
The community group will benefit from the proceeds for its restoration and renovation work.
Thomas, Lynch and others are working feverishly to finish construction and outfit the haunted house in time for the 7 p.m. Thursday opening.
Thomas said he approached Glenn Brady, the head of the community center organization, about using the building to film an independent movie, and the idea of first staging a haunted-house fundraiser with the movie set was born.
The movie will be shot in November, he said.
“The Reunion Haunted Attraction” is based on the story of fictional character Ezzard Noels, who attended Clinton High and was bullied relentlessly before he left to become a genetics engineer, Thomas said.
Although he became rich enough to one day buy the school building, his genetic experiments on himself left him a repulsive sight, Thomas said.
Noels also created a stable of mutant creatures that he uses to populate the school building and exact revenge on his former classmates.
Thomas likes the idea of alumni viewing a production about a school reunion.
“In that sense, it’s about people coming back to school,” he said.
A former janitor at the school will greet the visitors, who also will see a video “that takes you through the mind of someone being bullied,” Thomas said.
Visitors will go through the morgue, crusher room, an area populated by Noel’s mutant animals, the blood room and other features, dodging pneumatically operated creatures and fixtures and trying to find the right door to the next level in some cases.
Some of the pneumatic features were used when Thomas worked on the “Twilight” series, he said.
The set also features a Prom Room, where the dancers all wear masks.
“Ezzie says the students never showed him their real face,” Thomas explained.
At one point, the path will go through a large hole in the foundation of the building and into a crawl space under the school that is spooky enough in the middle of the day.
“This is where a lot of people are going to stop,” Thomas predicted.
The haunted house attraction will be open each week on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. until Oct. 24, when it will open each night through Halloween. Admission is $15 per person, or $10 to re-enter on the same night.
In addition to movie work, Thomas and Lynch have had experience in other successful Halloween haunted houses.
Thomas said the cast will have about 50 “actors,” who were selected through auditions. “We still have people coming out of the woodwork wanting to perform,” he said.
Lynch said most of the actors will wear masks that she has fashioned for their roles, although some of them also will just wear special makeup “due to them being mutants.”
Thomas said Brady will set up an “alumni room” for graduates and other adults who may not want to be scared out of their wits elsewhere in the building.
In addition to watching a video of old photographs from Clinton school days, the faint-of-heart may follow the progress on security cameras of any children they may bring to the school.