Monster Mash smashes dorm doldrums

Diane Druper

Halloween struck campus this past weekend with many frightful opportunities for Northern Michigan University students. Everyone had an event to be at whether killing time, looking for thrills or following the candy trail. Having an excuse to dress-up and have a good time motivated many into the night to celebrate youthful adulthood.re-halloween1

Spooner Hall hosted a Haunted Basement on Thursday Oct. 29 with more than 100 people registering for their unique story-driven maze in groups of four to seven, enough that they had to extend the event to Friday in order to accommodate those who hadn’t been there Thursday night.

The Spooner team had not expected so many participants. “I am amazed and impressed and shocked. I didn’t think this many people would come over here,” senior Karen Erkkila said.

Coming directly from the Haunted Theater, sophomore Wolfgang Kopera wanted to “just keep being scared.” junior Ali Cazzetta from Woodland Apartments looked forward to being scared senseless. The elaborate set-up in the basement required participants to find various objects to proceed: a key from the hand of a hanging victim that unlocked a cage where a flashlight lay in the hand of a dead woman, and batteries in another cage to make this flashlight work.

“It was cool. I’ve never been in a haunted house. It was like a game and got the participant really involved,” senior Eric Epps said. Spooner Hall was not the only one to have fun games and Halloween activities—Magers had been having scary movie nights all week and had a game called Werewolf on Thursday night.

Magers RA John Yezbak said the game is a bit like Clue or the Resistance in which each person in the group takes a role and they have to figure out puzzles amongst, and involving, themselves. Starting out as a summer icebreaker, it was adapted for the Halloween theme to give new meaning to “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Magers Hall, Spooner Hall, Payne Hall and West Hall all planned on having a Halloween Party on Saturday with dancing, games and costume contests. Sophomore DJ VerDuin of West Hall looked forward to the costume contest since everyone “goes all out.” Halloween-themed music, cobwebs and ghoulish decorations invaded the halls with droves of candy.

With no formal trick-or-treating on campus, freshman Erin Perry mentioned that Van Antwerp had a “Spooky Sundae” event. Residents would receive a few scoops of ice cream and then go through the hall to receive different kinds of toppings from each room. Each floor would have a different theme in this sweet spectacle.

The dorms were not the only places to host fun Halloween activities. The English Learning Institute program had a party Friday afternoon with pumpkin carving, pumpkin and face painting, pin-the-tail on the cat, and a crafting station for masks.

“It’s fun to have the opportunity to share parts of our culture with international students,” graduate assistant James Dyer said. “Plus, nothing beats watching international students go elbow-deep in a pile of pumpkin guts.”

Many of the international students took great care in carving elaborate designs on their pumpkins, leaving with them after the party.

The food at the ELI Halloween party did not disappoint, but nothing compared to the delicious pumpkin-praline cheesecake served at the Wildcat Den’s Halloween lunch on Oct. 30.

Creative costumes galore, students filled their pockets with treats and enjoyed their Halloween parties. Eye-witness accounts across campus reported the presence of Snow White, a cross-dressing fairy, Ms. Frizzle, the four Ninja Turtles, pirates, vampires, devils, more pirates, mobsters, thieves, prisoners, skeletons, witches and so much more.

While some were content to gorge on candy, others reigned terror on local bars such as the Ore Dock. Nothing boosts business quite like college students ready for an after-party.

“I saw the best Link costume I’ve ever seen,” senior Eric Martin said. “Everyone there was dressed up and having a good time.”