By: Gracie King | Feature Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble – the Department of Campus Recreation brewed together a frightening “Haunted Trails” experience for students Oct. 28 at the Glenn Sebastian Nature Trails on campus. Though this event has been a standing Halloween tradition since 2015, this year’s spectacle was the most successful it has ever been.
“We sent more students and guests in on Thursday than we had in 2019 in two days,” Maygan Williams, the Assistant Director of Facilities and Wellness at the Rec Center, said of the event’s success this year.
Williams played a major role in the organization and execution of this spook-tacular event, as well as Stephen Newhouse, the Competitive Sports and Facilities Coordinator, Stephen Fick, the Aquatics Coordinator, Brian Allred, the Campus Recreation Director and over 40 dedicated student workers and volunteers.
“My favorite part of the trails is the Clown Tent scene! People are terrified of clowns and it’s always a scare,” Williams said. “I love seeing our students that dress as the clowns make it their own. It’s always in the same spot every year and yet something different is always added by the students!”
Though the event was wildly successful this year with nearly 500 students in attendance, plans for the event continuing on Friday had to be cancelled due to the event’s larger-than-expected turnout on Thursday. Students and faculty stayed until well after midnight to ensure every student on the trails got the scare they wanted.
“While this year was more successful than previous years, it made for a longer night for our student workers, and we wanted to do what was best for them,” Williams said of the event’s cancellation on Friday.
With only 360 days until next Halloween, the professional staff at the Campus Rec have already begun planning for next year’s Haunted Trails event. After this year’s outstanding turnout, students can expect a bigger, better, and certainly scarier event than years prior.
“Next year, we’re moving to bigger and better. We’ve already begun changing the path from this year and entering in more lights and sounds to make the trail even better!” Williams said.
As one of the student “scarers”, I can attest that this event was not for the faint of heart. Screams from the students could be heard from all points of the trail, making the overall experience even spookier. Some students were so scared, they resorted to singing songs like the age-old classic “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and staying huddled together on the trails.
If there’s one thing students and guests can expect from next year’s Haunted Trails, it’s to be prepared to scream until your voice goes hoarse. We hope to see you and your friends next year for everyone’s favorite bone-chilling Halloween experience!