Happy hauntings at the Hurst


Alex Trabold, Staff writer

As Halloween is just around the corner, the students and staff of Mercyhurst have been participating in special celebrations this week. From food-themed events at the Grotto Commons and The Roost, to clubs hosting annual parties, the festivities have so much in store to celebrate the spooky holiday.

Mercyhurst’s Multicultural Activities Council/Student Activities Council hosted two Halloween events for students this weekend with “Hallohurst Dance” and the annual “Haunted Hurst.” The Hallohurst event was a chance for students to dance the night away at a costume party in the Rec Center. Haunted Hurst is a Halloween staple event hosted by MAC/SAC and the Ambassadors. On Oct. 26, Old Main was transformed into a haunted house full of scary decorations as Ambassadors gave tours to students throughout the evening.

“I thought Haunted Hurst went really well this year,” junior Ambassador Elizabeth Becker said. “My favorite part is seeing the hallways of Old Main and Egan completely transform into a haunted house. It’s crazy to think that they are the same hallways that I walk through on a daily basis.”

Instead of facts about the school’s academics and clubs like a normal tour, Ambassadors told the infamous ghost stories of the university.

“Personally, I love hearing the story of the cursed ring on the hand of the Infant of Prague in the Queen’s Chapel every year,” Becker said. “I look at the ring each time I pass the figurine, and it always gives me chills. I like to think I’m not superstitious, but you won’t catch me touching that ring anytime soon!” The other Halloween celebrations hosted by student clubs vary in style from parties to game nights and even a new outdoor event from the Commuter Student Association— “Trunk-or-Treat.”

Anna Czulewicz, president of Commuter Student Association, organized the event.

“Commuter Student Association’s ‘Trunk-or-Treat’ is an opportunity for the Mercyhurst University community to celebrate Halloween commuter-style by trick-or-treating out of car trunks,” Czulewicz said. “The purpose of the event is to high-light the commuter population and increase awareness of our unique presence on campus.”

The cars participating in the event were all sponsored by com-muter students and RSCOs. The event included a “best decorated car contest” with local, Erie-themed prizes. Czulewicz was inspired to organize this event from her high school days.

“I used to participate in a ‘Trunk-or-Treat’ event when I was a high school student at Mercyhurst Prep, so I thought it’d be fun to organize one here at Mercyhurst University on behalf of the Commuter Student Association because it fits with our theme of commuting by car.”

Mercyhurst’s Irish Club hosted a party based on Samhain, a tradi-tional Irish pagan holiday on Oct. 29.

“We will have traditional Irish games, food, music and tarot card readings,” Irish Club secretary Michelle Benedetti said. “On Wednesday we will be participating in the RSCO mocktail event and will be creating a non-alcoholic version of a Shillelagh.”

Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society, hosted its annual party on Oct. 29 in the Student Union Great Room. The English majors bring out their best literary-themed costumes for the costume contest. This year’s costumes included The Mad Hatter, a “Diction-Fairy,” Dorian Gray and “The Tyger” from William Blake’s famous poem.

“The Sigma Tau Delta party is such a wonderful way to bring together the department as a whole to welcome in new and old faces,” Tessa Sayer, senior double major in English and Psychology, said.

Other clubs with planned Halloween events include Campus Ministry’s Wednesday Night Fellowship Team on Oct. 30 beginning at 8:30 p.m. and the AIM program on Nov. 3. Both events encourage friends to dress up and celebrate the fun holiday together.

The Roost hosted its first Halloween party on Oct. 26 from 7-10 p.m. The Roost’s staff and attending students wore costumes, to fit in with the pub’s extravagant decorations. The winner of the costume contest was awarded a Walmart gift card. Special snacks were also offered at this party, which included chocolate covered pretzels and popcorn along with pumpkin spice parfait.

Katie Boyd, Parkhurst General Manager and staff consider these festivities to be important due to Halloween’s place as the first late year holiday.“The Halloween dinner we con-sider to be the kickoff to all holiday festivities,” Boyd said, “so it’s just the beginning.”

The Grotto Commons will be hosting a Halloween-themed dinner on Oct. 30 from 5-7 p.m. Boyd has positive memories of celebrating this holiday with the student body and Parkhurst staff.

“As we touch on all the holidays, Halloween seems to be everyone’s favorite,” Boyd said. “We’ve been doing these celebrations even be-fore I came to work here 15 years ago.”

Boyd’s favorite aspect of the celebration is everything regarding the themed food. From the play-on words involved in naming each of the dishes to the creativity required by the chefs in order to stick to this particular theme, Parkhurst goes all out. The staff even works in costume, along with welcoming any student that feels like dressing up themselves.

All of this activity shows that Halloween holds a very dear place in the hearts of Mercyhurst students.