Student get spooked at the Arboretum


GVL / Lauren Seymour

Steven Lawrence, Staff Writer

With Halloween approaching, many students on campus are getting into the spirit by going to haunted attractions. One of the biggest events that is returning to Grand Valley State University’s campus this year is the Haunted Arboretum, and it’s promised to be scarier than ever.

The Haunted Arboretum is a two-day event in which the arboretum gets turned into a scary walk-through trail. This event is usually put on by multiple different organizations and groups all across campus working together to make it the best it has ever been. This year the Campus Activities Board and STAGE are working in collaboration.

This will be the Haunted Arboretum’s second annual year running. The event was originally created as a way to have Halloween activities with the ability to social distance during COVID-19. Due to the success CAB has decided to put on the event this year as well and they are hoping for many more.

CAB’s goal for the event, according to  Director of Special Events Hannah Shafer, is to try to promote and get as many students as possible to come so the event can keep on growing. Whereas STAGE’s goal for the event, according to Georgia Hessel the Public Relations Officer of STAGE, is focused more on acting and actually scaring those in attendance as well as developing their technology skills.

“Many of our club members will be in costume for the evening spooking participants, using both improv and scripted plans,” Hessel said. “STAGE’s president, Nate Vedders, is stage managing for the show, accompanied by other E-Board and STAGE members in running lights, sound and keeping the show running smoothly.”

GVL / Lauren Seymour

The ultimate goal is to scare attendees around every corner. There is so much time and planning that goes into this event, and that can be seen in every tiny detail that there is. 

“This event has stepped up a notch from last year and has so many more elements to it,” Shafer said. “The planning team has done a phenomenal job with making sure that it gets better and better each time.” 

Many of the events CAB puts on are free for students to attend, this was no different. Due to everything being on-campus and ran by students, the cost of production was cut down significantly than if it were an off-campus event. Events like this also gives STAGE members an opportunity to test their skills in a different setting than a theatre.

“It’s something I’ve never done before. I love theatre, film, and producing collaborative art, but I’m usually in a behind-the-scenes role,” Hessel said. “Being a scarer myself, I’m excited to try something new with my friends and scare the living daylights out of people. Last year I walked through the Haunted Arboretum as a participant- getting the opportunity to work on the other side of things will be an interesting change and an awesome learning and teamwork experience. Also, I’m really excited to wear some cool prosthetics.”

This event is riveting, and set to keep getting better every year. However, the Halloween fun is far from over across campus. If you are interested in looking for other events to participate in you can visit @GVSUCAB on Instagram, or look up the GVSU events calendar for any future events.