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Haunted bus debuts in Superior

A team effort coordinated by Superior School District bus drivers, the haunted bus will travel to a number of trunk-or-treat events.

Brielle Pederson, 6, reacts as she gets to the back of the haunted school bus during the trunk-or-treat event at Northern Lights Elementary School
Brielle Pederson, 6, reacts as she gets to the back of the haunted school bus during the trunk-or-treat event at Northern Lights Elementary School on Monday afternoon, Oct. 24.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — A Superior school bus packed with skeletons, low-hanging fog and smears of what looked like blood traveled to the trunk-or-treat event at Northern Lights Elementary School Monday, Oct. 24.

A skeleton sits behind the wheel of the haunted school bus
A skeleton sits behind the wheel of the haunted school bus during the trunk-or-treat event at Northern Lights Elementary School on Monday afternoon, Oct. 24.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

The first visitors rated the bus as creepy, but cool. There were even some screams.

“Scary, especially the spider. I’m scared of spiders!” said Wes Pederson, 9.

His sister, Brielle, 6, said the coffin at the end was the most frightening part.

Owen Schulz, 9, said it was scary, but “it was actually pretty cool.”

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As they stood outside, watching other participants assemble different stations — a “Frozen” set, tables with candy, rows of balloons — Wes was still thinking about that spider.

“The spider was huge!” he said.

The haunted bus will travel to three elementary schools this week before reaching its final destination — the trunk-or-treat event at Four Corners Store from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29.

This is the first year district bus drivers assembled a haunted bus.
“I love it. We should have done it a long time ago. Us drivers like to get involved quite a bit,” said bus driver Terri Karren, who wore a creepy laughing mask for the event.

Bus driver Stacy Fornengo adjusts the cobwebs on the first seat in the haunted school bus
Bus driver Stacy Fornengo adjusts the cobwebs on the first seat in the haunted school bus during the trunk-or-treat event at Northern Lights Elementary School on Monday afternoon, Oct. 24.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

It was a team effort — drivers donated decorations; food service staff provided candy and a skeleton; maintenance provider Fabick Cat made sure the bus, which isn’t used to transport children, was in good condition for its travels.

“It’s kind of a neat collaboration with everybody,” said bus driver Stacy Fornengo, who was dressed as a crayon.

It took three volunteer sessions to deck the bus out for its trunk-or-treat tour.

“It was fun. We had a blast. Everybody just had different (ideas) and just started and then it just kind of, you know, developed,” said bus aide Linda Trianoski, who was wearing a Thing 1 costume.

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The potpourri of holiday decor included a skeleton bus driver with glowing eyes; a graveyard; a bloody crime scene; the foggy spider den; a trail of eerie green footprints; and a coffin. District Transportation Director David See was there in spirit. His picture appeared on a number of items, including the skeletal bus driver’s badge and a most wanted sign.

See said the drivers went above and beyond what he expected. He appreciated their flair for decorating and their commitment to students.

Bus driver Ryan Dallum gets his werewolf costume ready before entering the haunted school bus
Bus driver Ryan Dallum gets his werewolf costume ready before entering the haunted school bus during the trunk-or-treat event at Northern Lights Elementary School on Monday afternoon, Oct. 24.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

“It gives the drivers an opportunity to see the kids in a different environment where they’re out just having fun — not being brought to school — and see their families,” See said.

Costumed drivers helped guide students through the bus and handed out candy. They included driver Ryan Dallum, hidden behind a werewolf mask, and his daughter Marianna, a senior at Superior High School.

Marianna helped decorate the bus last week and passed out candy during the event dressed as an astronaut. Her volunteer hours will go toward the 15 hours of community service every senior is required to have for graduation. She said it was fun working with family and people she knew.

The fact that so many people contributed something to the project — whether through ideas, donations, or volunteering — made it special, Fornengo said.

“Everybody had come up with something or brought stuff and ... it's great to get everybody together, too,” she said.

Wes Pederson, 9, looks a little unsure as he surveys the haunted school bus from outside
Wes Pederson, 9, looks a little unsure as he surveys the haunted school bus from outside during the trunk-or-treat event at Northern Lights Elementary School on Monday afternoon, Oct. 24.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
The outline of a body is taped to the floor inside the haunted school bus
The outline of a body is taped to the floor inside the haunted school bus during the trunk-or-treat event at Northern Lights Elementary School on Monday afternoon, Oct. 24.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Bus driver Ashley Gustafson checks on the skeleton after turning on its eyes inside the haunted school bus
Bus driver Ashley Gustafson checks on the skeleton after turning on its eyes inside the haunted school bus during the trunk-or-treat event at Northern Lights Elementary School on Monday afternoon, Oct. 24.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Marianna Dallum, left, hands candy to Owen Schulz, 9, after he went through the haunted school bus
Marianna Dallum, left, hands candy to Owen Schulz, 9, after he went through the haunted school bus during the trunk-or-treat event at Northern Lights Elementary School on Monday afternoon, Oct. 24. Dallum, a senior at Superior High School, was volunteering for her senior project.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
A skeleton is behind the wheel driving the haunted school bus
A skeleton is behind the wheel driving the haunted school bus during the trunk-or-treat event at Northern Lights Elementary School on Monday afternoon, Oct. 24.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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