Central Michigan University can look like a different place during the day than it does in the dead of night.
Trout Hall will put that spooky effect to good use in coordinating its 16th annual Legends of the Dark event today, Thursday and Friday on the northern half of campus to raise money for select philanthropies.
“The event has grown bigger and bigger each year,” said Trout Hall Director Ann Krzyzaniak. “It started off as a fun hall event and has transformed into a campus-wide tradition.”
Tours start from the Down Under Food Court in Bovee University Center every 10 minutes from 7:30 p.m. until the last scheduled tour at 10:20 p.m. each night.
Each tour lasts about an hour and consists of stories told by tour guides throughout campus north of Preston Street. New and improved “scarers” are scattered throughout campus to improve the experience, said Farmington Hills sophomore Hannah Keshishian, this year’s program coordinator.
“I had different visions this year and I wanted to put my own spin on it,” Keshishian said. “We made budget cuts and used that money for costumes and make up and we got cool props. We wanted it to be more of a theatrical event.”
Admission is $3 in advance and $5 at the door and all profits will be divided up between four philanthropies: Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates, Relay for Life, Adopt a Family and the Mobile Food Pantry.
The haunted tours are Trout Hall’s biggest fundraising event each year.
“It’s something we do that’s cool and fun and brings in a lot of revenue and promotes the hall and promotes Sober in October,” Keshishian said.
In 2009, the event raised about $1,600 and in 2010 it raised $1,000. This year’s goal is to raise $2,500 with the increased ticket price.
Krzyzaniak said the tours are a fun Halloween experience, but are also useful in getting to know the history behind CMU’s campus.
“I think one of the most alluring aspects of the tour is people see parts of campus they don’t normally see,” Krzyzaniak said. “You might walk by a spot dozens of times in a year and not know about the legends behind some of those spots — legend has it they are indeed true campus stories.”
Planning for the event is a year-round process and requires 100 volunteers to fill the roles of tour guides, scarers, security guards, ticket sellers and makeup artists.
Volunteers range from all over the campus, which is partially what makes the event run so smoothly.
“We have had a great amount of support from the Health Professions Residential College located in Emmons Hall this year and in the past, in addition to volunteers from Greek life and honors students,” Krzyzaniak said.