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Escape from Dr. Ella Mental's Laboratory!


Treats and Treats, Carnival Food and Games





Albany High School

603 Key Route Blvd.

Albany, CA 94706


Saturday Oct. 25, 2014

12 pm - 5 pm: all ages

5 pm - 8 pm: recommended 12+




In August 2014, a group of us from the Lawrence Hall of Science and UC Berkeley won a grant from the Bay Area Inspire Awards to create a community-built haunted house. Titled "Escape from Dr. Ella Mental's Laboratory," this Haunted House will celebrate the efforts of scientists, engineers, and designers creating something for the whole community to enjoy and learn from in a collaborative environment. Families walking through the Haunted House will first be able to enjoy the spooky exhibition. Then, in the Behind the Scenes section, they can explore the science behind the exhibits through hands-on activities and take-home projects.

The 250 elementary and middle school students, 70 high school students, and 100 undergraduate students who assist in building this haunted house will gain experience working on this huge engineering project and feel pride in explaining the science behind their creations. This experience will help families see science and engineering come alive outside of the classroom, inspiring young people to see that STEM is both fun and accessible regardless of one’s socioeconomic background, propelling them to become budding scientists and engineers themselves.

Once the funds were secured, we partnered with Albany High School to host this Haunted House as a fundraiser and the Town of Terror was born.

The Town of Terror is brought to you by:

Escape from Dr. Ella Mental's Laboratory!

Science has been hiding a dark secret. One mad professor, Dr. Ella Mental, has been behind every great scientific achievement for the past 4 centuries. The chemist's highly guarded elixir of life has kept her alive far past her expiration date. She has lost the recipe for the elixir and her low dosage has transformed her into a highly intelligent, but deranged Zombie-like monster. She is dangerously close to death and has approximately 10 minutes to live.

The mad doctor has lured you into her lab to synthesize a new batch of her Elixir of Life. You have 10 minutes to identify the proper chemicals and drop them into the Elixir Mixer 2000 to create and administer four doses of the Elixir of Life.

Congrats to those who saved dr. Ella Mental!

#weinvent #townofterror

Final Report

Here's a letter of support from Albany High School's Assistant Principal Kevin Goines. We are eternally grateful to him and his staff for helping make the Town of Terror possible at Albany High.


Below is an adapted version of a presentation about the Town of Terror given at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Click on any slide below to expand the image. Hover over an expanded image to see the image captions and press play to watch the videos. Then click on the arrows on the left and right side of the image or use the left and right arrow keys to navigate the presentation. 

This community-built haunted house is made possible by hard work of the following people:

Andrew Milne
Sherry Hsi
And the TechHive Interns

Amanda Haack
Matt Zhang
Siddarth Krishna
Tiffany Chung
Michael Chang
Andy Chu
And the staff and mentees of BEAM

Mariflorence Hudson
Kevin Goines
And the Leadership Class of Albany High School!

Special Thanks to the Bay Area Inspire Awards for making all of this possible!

Thank you!


AJ Almaguer and Matt Chilbert
Project Leads, TechHive