Suzie Harrison The scene was very scary,...

Suzie Harrison

The scene was very scary, with graveyards, spiders that had spun

huge webs, ghosts, bats, skeletons and eerie witches. They were

everywhere, but everyone seemed to be having a great time anyway.


That’s because the occasion was Boo Blast, El Morro Elementary

School’s annual Halloween-themed PTA fund-raiser. The entire campus

is decorated with frightening effects -- skeleton foot prints, a fog

machine and scenes that exemplify the horror holiday.


“It’s my first time at Boo Blast ,” said Julia Weidig, 11. “I’m a

new student and the rides have been a lot of fun.”

The fund-raiser was a big success.

“Not all the figures are in, and we’ve netted over $15,000, which

is the best, " PTA member Kathy Dawson said. “It’s over last year --

it was good, I am very happy with that.”

It’s estimated by the PTA that between 500 and 1,000 people

attended and the Reef Point parking lot was completely full at one


time, as was the parking lot behind the school.

“It’s become a big community event,” Dawson said. “It was fun,

smooth and it went really well.”

Parent Jennifer Romero grew up in Laguna and now shares her

childhood experience with a new generation.

“My son Drew is in third grade, and Eliza is in second grade at El

Morro,” parent Jennifer Romero said. “We’re going to the haunted



“I used to go to Boo Blast -- actually I’ve been going for 25

years. I went to school here and I’m 31. I was in the fourth grade at

El Morro and it was going on then. It gets better every year,” Romero


Kids, dressed in costumes, played a lot of the games that the

school set up, such as tossing a ping pong ball into a vase to win a

goldfish, shooting hoops and throwing a ball to knock the clown over.

But the biggest attraction was the haunted house.

“It’s cool and it scares you,” said Roy Herbert, 11. “It’s fun and it gives you the creeps.”

“I like the haunted house,” said Noah Barker, 11. “It’s fun -- it

brings back good memories. I am a sixth-grader at Thurston, and it’s

fun coming back.”

Barbara Crowley, who is a parent of fifth-grader Christina

Crowley, has been in charge of the haunted house for five years. This

is her last year because her daughter will be going to Thurston. She

has made a handbook for the next person in charge.

One of Crowley’s duties is to give the scary guided tour through

the haunted house.

“This ancient manor has been closed for 100 years, and everything

is very ancient and fragile, so be careful,” Crowley said at the

beginning of the tour.

It was a dungeon-type maze that kept the kids screaming and

guessing where the next scare would come from.

Next year it will be even better, Dawson said. Renovations to the

campus and the blacktop will be complete, so the whole Blast will

take place in one area.

“This is successful because the parents are involved with it,”

principal Joanne Culverhouse said. “It’s amazing. The parent

volunteers are here weeks prior to the event and prepare a year in

advance. I think the community needs to know that it’s the volunteers

that make it happen.”

* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline

Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321 or