UNI turns spooky with Halloween activities

For some people, Halloween is like their Christmas. The thrill and excitement of turning their front lawn into a graveyard, being scared over and over again by Michael Myers, dressing up as a witch or vampire, and throwing a Halloween bash is just too much to handle.

 Halloween is a billion dollar holiday that saw more than 40 million children ages 5 to 14 trick-or-treating in 2010. That's a lot of candy!

 So what do people older than 14, say college students, do during Halloween? Well, at the University of Northern Iowa they show scary movies in Maucker Union, conduct ghost hunts with famous paranormal investigators, throw Halloween dances and zombie lock-ins, and put together a popular Halloween House for families to learn about chemistry.

 UNI's Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society hosted children in kindergarten through fifth grade and fellow UNI students for chemistry and physics demonstrations in theme rooms that included Pirate's Cove, Frankenstein's Lab, Devil's Den and the Witches Lair.Halloween House

 "The Halloween House is a wonderful way to connect to the Cedar Falls/Waterloo community and show families that science can be fun," said Rebecca Krewer, a senior majoring in biochemistry. "I think the kids really enjoyed the 'magical' side of the chemistry and physics demos – you mix some things together and you get fire or color."

 And what’s Halloween without a Halloween dance? UNI’s International Student Association (ISA) hosted a Halloween dance where ghouls and goblins got the chance to show their “Thriller” moves.

 “We originally started the ISA Halloween dance so students could gather and have some fun,” said Ramya Varadaraju, a sophomore majoring in computer science. “It’s also a nice way for international students to learn about American culture and enjoy it.”

 The Halloween dance is a tradition that has turned into one of the biggest events ISA organizes on campus. This year, participants were asked to bring canned goods or make a $1 donation to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank.

 “We decided to ask for donations this year,” said Varadaraju. “Thanksgiving is coming up and we don’t want anyone to go hungry.”

One unique Halloween activity that was planned for this year was a presentation by a paranormal investigator followed by a campus ghost hunt. UNI’s Campus Activities Board hosted a spooky night of fun that started with a showing of the movie “The Sixth Sense” in the Maucker Union Ballroom.

If that wasn’t scary enough, paranormal investigator Chris Moon presented his popular Ghost Hunting 101 seminar that covered the basics of ghost hunting, from ghost hunting protocol to equipment used in the field. And it didn’t stop there. Fifty people were randomly picked from the audience to accompany Moon on a campus ghost hunt. Maybe, just maybe, they were able to catch a glimpse of UNI ghosts Zelda and Augie. These two ghosts are rumored to roam the halls of Strayer-Wood Theatre and Lawther Hall. Maybe, if you get the courage, you could go explore to see if these rumors are true.