GV Haunted Arboretum sends chills down students’ spines


GVL / Sydney Lim

Clemence Daniere, Staff Writer

Halloween is right around the corner, and haunted attractions are becoming a popular pastime for Grand Valley State University’s students. This past weekend, the Haunted Arboretum was set up to scare students right on campus. 

Due to the unpredictable Michigan weather, the event was postponed for half an hour on Thursday, but students stuck it out in the rain while they waited in the ever-growing line. Decorated food trucks and hot beverage vendors were available for attendees to warm their hands while they waited. 

Campus Activities Board (CAB), the Residence Housing Association and the Office of Student Life collaborated on this event, bringing together their members to create the spine-chilling attraction. The stage manager, Nate Vedders, corresponded with the cast and crew to ensure everything went smoothly and set-up was completed in time. 

Events by Anasie, a GVSU alumni-run business, created the sets for this event. Members from all of the organizations helped bring everything into the arboretum and placed it in strategic places to maximize the scare factor of the event. 

Although set up proved to be complicated this year due to the constant downpour of rain and occasional hail, students were able to finish and have everything ready to go by 8 p.m. on Thursday. 

“We’re so glad to see everybody out ready to engage in what we’ve created,” said Erin Gallaher, the Director of Headliners at CAB. 

Colorful lights adorned the inside of the arboretum, allowing student scarers to roam around the perimeter unnoticed, waiting for people to come through and popping out to scare them at the right time. 

The event consisted of over 20 scarers, who were volunteer students who had full creative freedom over their costumes. Every one of them had the opportunity to dress up exactly how they liked, whether it be a famous Halloween character, a witch, a ghoul or a zombie. 

Famous appearances included Beetlejuice and Michael Myers. In addition to scaring people in the crowd, they were working on crowd control and creating photo opportunities for students. 

Beetlejuice, who served as a spokesman for this year’s haunted attraction, has been a staple character for the event. He made the time to show up and entertain the crowd while they waited in line. 

“This is the third year we’ve done it and I’ve been there every year,” Beetlejuice said. “I’m kinda like the poster boy.”

This annual, free event starts to get planned a couple of weeks after the one in the previous year has ended. 

“We’ve got a great team of people and we’re ready to scare everyone that walks through,” Vedders said. 

With Halloween right around the corner, the festivities at GVSU have just begun. For more information about future events, students are welcome to check out CAB on Instagram and Twitter as well as the events calendar on GVSU’s website.