Halloween, the time of year you get to be someone else and do something out of ordinary. While American universities are full of traditions, and each have their own age-old pastimes, the student bodies at some of these colleges have pushed the boundary all the way to weird town. From freak to trick or treat, Halloween has something for everyone, and these campus traditions are no exception.
Halloween on Franklin Street, University of North Carolina
Halloween on Franklin Street is an annual tradition in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, that comprises of a huge gathering on Franklin Street, the cultural heart of the town. This Halloween tradition started in the early 1980s as a much smaller event involving residents of Chapel Hill and University of North Carolina students. The attendees of the event dressed up in imaginative costumes, then parade up and down Franklin Street celebrating the holiday. Since the start, the event had grown each year until 2008, it is estimated that between 2004 and 2007 about 80,000 people attended the event on Franklin Street while chapel hill was estimated to have a population of 54,492 in 2007. With that large of a crowd, security measures had to be put in place. By the 2008 celebrations, bars and restaurants in the downtown area were required to stop selling alcohol and close by 1AM. It definitely sounds like quite the spectacle to behold.
Ghost House, Roanoke College
Roanoke, the city known for its lost colony and the mysteries surrounding it, is expectantly vibrant around Halloween. Roanoke College embraces this time of year by hosting its very own “Ghost Hunting Class” at Monterey House. In which a class of students stay overnight in the house and take on a paranormal investigation. The property has federal, state, and local historic landmark status. The large, Greek Revival-style house was built in 1853 for Powell Huff, a Salem businessman. In its long history, Monterey has served as a hotel, a boarding house, a fraternity house and was a private residence from the 1920s until the college purchased it in 2002.Carter, associate professor of English at Roanoke and leader of these ghost hunting classes, has dozens of stories of paranormal experiences from what he and students have witnessed over the years. ‘Sometimes there’s visual phenomena, like a lamp growing brighter and dimmer on its own, or a flash of light. Sometimes there’s a narrow gust of wind through the house. Sometimes a student walks into a room and immediately feels an intense sorrow.’The most common tool used in aid of these ghost hunting classes, are dowsing rods. The rods move in response to the detection of hidden objects, and the interpretations of the movement depend on the person dowsing. Dowsing rods can be used in paranormal investigations by holding the rods and walking around the area being investigated, or by asking specific questions and seeing how the rods react.
Mystery and Art Heist event, University of Richmond
The University of Richmond involves everyone at Halloween, as faculty and students are invited to solve their annual Mystery Art heist. The Mystery Art Heist begins with the participants acting as detectives to solve who carried out the heist, the players will get a prompt from the university. The 2023 prompt is as follows- “President Crutcher has been framed for stealing a valuable work of art, but he claims to be innocent. The College Deans have been named as suspects. Find art on campus and solve puzzles and clues with the help of QR codes to solve the mystery and exonerate President Crutcher! Art Heist at UR! begins at the scene of the crime on the Forum. Players will find the map with X's that mark the locations of each puzzle or clue. Take a picture of the map for your use but leave it behind for others. Please remember to not touch the art.”The detectives have four days to complete their investigation and can take as much or as little time to complete it within the time stated. Teams and players that successfully complete the Heist will be entered into a raffle for a prize.
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