Haunted Happenings on the Cater Walk

By Caitlyn Maltese
Elm Staff Writer

From zombies to ghost to ghouls galore, Washington College celebrated Halloween bigger than ever this year starting with a Zombie Run on Wednesday, Oct. 29 and concluding the frightening week with the annual Middle Hall Haunt- ed House on Friday, Oct. 31.

After the sun went down, the Student Event Board hosted a spooky run throughout campus, starting at the Cater Walk and winding all the way across the bridge to the Shriver Bermuda Fields.
The following night, on Oct. 30, there was the second annual WACky Trick-or-Treat event sponsored by Residential Life and Office of Student Activities. Martha Washington Square was filled with children from all over the Eastern
Shore of Maryland. Student guides led parades of kids dressed up in costume as they traveled through the various dorms col- lecting candy from students.

On Halloween, students made their way to the annual Middle Haunted House. Middle residents began the eerie tour at 8 p.m., taking students throughout the building, ex- posing them to a host of horror movie themed hauntings.

This year, each floor had its own distinctive theme. At the beginning, guests were lead into basement, which was the coined the Stephen King floor. The floor featured cameos of different characters from “The Shinning,” “IT,” and “Carrie.” The basement served to “warm people up with familiar faces before throwing them into the unknown,” said freshman Olivia Libowitz.

After the basement, guests ascended to “The Exorcist” floor, the “American Horror Story” floor, and, for the grand finale, the Classic Movie Monster floor. In its entirety, there proved to be lots of blood, guts, zombies, and quite possibly worst of all, screaming clowns. “No one likes clowns,” said junior Sean Syme. “Let’s be honest.”

The event requires a lot of dedication from Middle residents. On the first floor, freshman Andrew Wells played a little boy who laid in bed twitching, possessed by a demon. Whenever a group of students was led onto his floor, he jumped up and ran at them. Wells talked about how he had to scream for four hours. Last year, junior Kathleen Dwyer was taped to the wall for the entirety of the event. This year however, she dressed up as the Invisible Man and welcomed guests into the last floor.

Middle Hall is comprised of art, art history, drama, English, and music majors. The majority of the residents live for these kind of events and many may have applied to live in the building just to be a part of the highly-anticipated event. Syme worked on the Stephen King floor and dressed up as Pennywise the clown. “Horror movies are my favorite genre. Halloween is my favorite holiday. Scaring is just my thing,” he said.

“I think its fun to just dress up and scare the crap out of everybody,” said President of Middle, junior Cole Capobianco. “I actually really like the scariness of it. I’m a drama major so it’s like you get to live the fog and the smoke and the costumes for one night.”
Middle Hall’s mantra for this event is creepiness. When residents apply to live in the specialty themed house they must commit to contribute to the event. “It’s one day a year you can be anyone you want to be,” said Syme.

Every year there’s a new theme and a new group of people in charge of making sure the event runs smoothly with plenty of screams to go around. “We have a lot of really neat stuff that Middle has accumulated over the years,” Capobianco said. “We keep things around for everyone to use.”

Along with decorations and enough fake blood for a “Saw” movie, the group also has items like a fog machine that they’ve saved and used year after year.

The event takes a lot of time and dedication to put together. This year they decided to experiment with a new blood recipe. In previous years, they had used peanut butter to help create a thick consistency. However, because it is near impossible to fully clean up and because it rotted and drew a swarm of ants, they decided to try a different formula. This year they used a mixture of cardboard paint and soap. “It smells like scary grapefruit,” said Capobianco. “Scary grapefruit is fine, peanut butter is not.”

After the guests braved terrifying twins, chainsaws, and popping balloons of fake blood, they were allowed to exit through the door on the back porch. But, as they left, there was one last surprise. Unseen until it was too late, the zombies emerged from underneath the porch. They pursued visitors. Middle residents treated the visitor completely without mercy.

“If you try running back to your dorm, your zombie that is assigned to you…might follow you back to your dorm,” said Libowitz.

Last year, a student dressed as a banana with a chainsaw chased visitors. It is rumored that multiple guests took swings at the student out of mere shock. This year, with about seven or eight zombies, guests were still very shocked, but there were no reported attacks on the actors.

The event finished up at midnight, ending Halloween on an expected and terrifying note.

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