Waubonsie’s darkest secret: ‘The Hepburn Cult’

Arti Rathore, Editor

The schools of District 204 offer a variety of clubs and extracurricular activities; they always have. Neuqua itself offers everything from a skiing club to a bowling team. Waubonsie also offers a variety of activities, including a show choir team. These clubs provide a safe place for like-minded people who share the love of a particular hobby. 

However, some clubs don’t survive. Typically sponsors pull out or students lose interest, and that eventually leads to a club shutting down. Though devastating for the students, there are always other outlets for the students to express their interests. Occasionally, clubs need to be shut down, as they are deemed inappropriate by the school. 

One such club was discovered in December at Waubonsie Valley High School. During winter break, the school cleaned out the basement and a few of the janitors stumbled upon what seemed to be the remains of an Audrey Hepburn cult. The news was kept under wraps by the school until recently when a few students got a hold of the story. The rumors of what happened in the Waubonsie basement spread like wildfire and eventually, the school was forced to open up about it during a recent school board meeting. 

Karen Sullivan, current superintendent of District 204, explained the origins of this cult to parents this Monday. Back when Waubonsie first opened in ‘75, the school had developed an extensive theater program. The program acted as an outlet for both stage and media lovers. From this population, it appears that a small group of students created a second club to support and recreate Audrey Hepburn movies, outfits and photoshoots. The club had started in 1978 and had become a continued tradition throughout the years. The year of 1993 took a tragic turn. In January of 1993, Hepburn was reported dead, devastating the club and causing it to break up. 

Though the official records of the club seem to end after the 1992-1993 school year, evidence found in the basement suggests that the club did not. After reviewing documents left by Thayer J Hill and Thomas G Scullen, the superintendents of District 204 during this time,  Sullivan reported that it seems the club lived on after the supposed end and attempted to revive Audrey Hepburn. The school janitors found wigs and costumes that mimicked some of Hepburn’s most famous looks, as well as multiple books on the art of resurrection. 

In 1997, before graduation, a group of seniors who were members of the club for all 4 years decided that they would “resurrect Queen Audrey as a graduation present for [their] freshmen,” according to a detailed diary that seems to have been left behind by one of the members. The diary, along with other memorabilia, was left in a box hidden under the Waubonsie stage. It has also been rumored that there are faint outlines of symbols drawn on the ground, however, it is unclear what the symbols are. However, no physical evidence of this has been made public. The chest containing the diary, costumes and “spellbook” are all being held by the school and have been removed from the basement. 

Sullivan assured the parents that all of the items were probably left as “an inappropriate joke.” The source of the rumor is being investigated in order to find out whether the cult really existed or if everything was left as a joke by a current student. 

That concludes the dream I had during quarantine, see you next time.