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Haunted campus dolls up for Halloween theme

photo courtesy/UTEP Student Alumni Association
Haunted Campus will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 23-24 at the Peter and Margaret de Wetter Center (Alumni Lodge).

The UTEP Student Alumni Association will be hosting their annual Haunted Campus event on Oct. 23 and 24. Attendees will be guided through the haunted buildings on campus after dark, finishing at a haunted house created by the association.

“We’re in charge of connecting and keeping traditions alive. It’s a new tradition that brings students closer to the campus and gives alumni something to come back to,” said April Escalante, sophomore music major and co-event organizer. “It gets better every year.”

Formerly called the Haunted Tours, the Student Alumni Association wished to incorporate a bit of UTEP’s history into this Halloween season in honor of the centennial. Typically hosted the Friday night before Halloween, this year’s Haunted Campus will be a two-day event from 7-10 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23 and from 7-11:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24.

“Last year, I had a lot of fun dressing up and scaring people in the haunted house, so I can’t wait to do it again this year. I’m going to be a deformed doll doing crazy contortions,” sophomore biochemistry major Nandi Martinez said. “I really enjoyed last year’s theme, the haunted hospital, because of the great reactions that we got—let’s just say tears were shed. I’m hoping this year goes as great or even better.”

The university is filled with buildings that are said to be haunted—Old Main, the Geological Sciences Building, Magoffin Auditorium and the Fox Fine Arts Center, among many others. Tour guests will be visiting these buildings during the tours and told the stories of the spirits who haunt them. The tours will be given by student volunteers and volunteers from the Paso Del Norte Paranormal Society, commonly referred to as Ghosts 915.

“We do paranormal investigations for businesses and private residences. People are hesitant to come forward and talk to us, but that’s how we all got involved: through our own paranormal experiences,” said Bonnie Juarez, UTEP alumnus, Ghosts 915 vice president, treasurer, investigator and tour guide. “Last year we helped out alumni Chris Martin, who was in charge of last year’s event and contacted us for help in giving the tours, and now we’ve come again this year. We also had a preview of ‘The Conjuring’ about a month ago at the student Union, in partnership with Warner Brothers and UTEP. We also did a ghost tour that evening (on campus).”

The haunted house, which will be located at the Peter and Margaret DeWetter Center lodge, follows a different theme each year. This year’s theme is a dollhouse. The haunted house is known to be exceptionally scary and is not recommended for children or people with heart problems.

“This will be my third year doing the haunted house,” said Kamri Coffee, sophomore psychology major, who will be dressed as a marionette doll in the haunted house. “The most exciting thing is watching people’s faces as they walk through the house. It’s the best thing ever. Knowing that they’re being scared by something they forget is human is out of this world.”

Two nights of fright, the UTEP Haunted Campus will offer a fun and spooky way for the whole family to learn about the ghastly history of the university’s halls.

“I love Halloween, so when I heard about the tours, I was like ‘this is for me,” Lili Ramos freshman pre-education major said. “I’ve always liked creepy stuff, so I am very excited to go. I’ve never been to a tour like this and it makes it creepier that it’s for the buildings of my school.”

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Students, alumni and military receive discounted prices of $8 when ordered in advance or $10 at the door. All tickets are sold at the Peter and Margaret de Wetter Center, located on campus next to the Administration Building.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call 747-8600.

Joseph Esposito may be reached at [email protected].

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Haunted campus dolls up for Halloween theme