Touring Kent State’s scary side

Adam Griffiths

Samantha Nehrebecki likes Halloween – a lot. And she isn’t afraid to admit it.

Three years ago, Nehrebecki, senior conflict management major and a three-year resident assistant, started a Kent campus ghost walk as an alternative Halloween experience for students.

“Most people go out the weekend before Halloween, but never have anything to do on Halloween,” she said. “It’s fun. You can hangout with your friends. It’s creepy and it’s free.”

Nehrebecki said a similar event that she participated in at Gettysburg inspired her to start a Kent version. To start, she researched stories online and spoke with various resident hall directors. She said the environment of a ghost walk is more appealing to some because “it isn’t all people jumping out at you.” It’s more psychological than a guy in mask trying to scare you.”

Junior psychology major Caitlin Faas attended the ghost walk two years ago and said it was a good time. She is assisting Nehrebecki with this year’s event.

The evening begins with attendees meeting for free food and fun at Olson Hall.

“We have scary music, festive food, scary movie clips and a history of Halloween,” Nehrebecki said. “Then we go on the walk. We go to each hall that’s haunted on campus, and I tell the story of why it’s haunted.”

“I really don’t like scary movies or anything, but then (Nehrebecki) explained what it was about,” Faas said. “It was really a good time walking around. You learn so much and then you go and tell your friends from other halls, ‘You won’t believe this.’ People were really jealous when they found out what happens.”

Nehrebecki said her favorite part of the ghost walk is finding “a little section where (she) can stand and tell a story,” like behind Engleman Hall where a faucet makes a large, frightening face.

“People are like ‘I’ve never been here before’ and get freaked out,” she said. “All of the stories bring a different kind of I’m-glad-I-never-lived-there feeling.”

Although the walk is promoted mainly in Lake and Olson Halls, Nehrebecki said all students are welcome. Advertising in the form of 3-D ghosts and signs that look like they have blood dripping off them are some of the things she does to hype the event.

Jacob Roope, junior speech pathology and audiology major, said this is his first year helping Nehrebecki put on the ghost walk.

“It sounds like an extremely fun event,” Roope said. “You get to act and be serious, but still have fun.”

Nehrebecki added that “it’s not meant to be a jumpy type of thing,” and the ghost walk works more off each person’s reaction to the story of each building.

“We tell you what happened and that’s it,” she said. “Some people are like, ‘I went to this hall and got so scared because of the story you told me.'”

This year’s ghost walk is Oct. 31. Festivities begin at 8:00 p.m. in the Olson Hall lounge, and the walk begins at 9:00 p.m. There is no cost and no reservation is required.

Contacts features reporter Adam Griffiths at [email protected].