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Legends of the Dark tours scare for a cause

A Legends of the Dark volunteer poses as “Carolyn” on Oct. 20 outside what used to be Barnard Hall.

Trout Hall's annual Legends of the Dark event is not just for scares — the haunted tour also raises money for local charities. 

Legends of the Dark is a haunted tour of campus with 13 different supernatural stops. Each group is led by a tour guide that acts out each story and tells the tales of Central Michigan University's departed and lost souls. 

Tours took place from Oct. 18-20. Tickets were sold for $4 in advance or $5 at the door. 

This year, event organizers partnered with Isabella County Restoration House, a rotating homeless shelter, to try to help pay for ICRH's operating expenses for two months. 

Numbers are still being counted, but Trout Hall Residence Hall Director Ann Krzyzaniak estimates Legends of the Dark raised about $4,000, which will come close to meeting this year's goal and possibly exceeding it. 

"In working with (ICRH), we've learned that their operating expenses are about $2,200 a month. We know it's cold, rainy and hot (in October) so it certainly gives us a chance to give back to our community and fill a need that exists," Krzyzaniak said. 

Over the past 22 years, the money raised was donated to organizations such as Relay for Life, Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates (SAPA) and Special Olympics Michigan. 

Krzyzaniak facilitates Legends of the Dark — but not without help. 

"It takes a lot of volunteers to pull it all together so we have about 150 people that come together every year throughout the course of the three days to volunteer either as a ticket taker, a community chair person or scarers," she said. "Scarers are certainly the biggest number of volunteers we get."

Legends of the Dark guests are led into a stairwell on Oct. 20 by Grawn Hall.

Macomb County junior Madison Thayer, who is Hall Council President of Trout Hall, has been involved with Legends of the Dark for two years. 

She's happy to see how much the event has grown and how fun it has been for both volunteers and students to get involved. 

"This year it went really well and was really fun too," Thayer said. "We had lots of scarers and people that came to the event and it was just an overall success."

Suttons Bay freshman Emily Holmes, left, and Wyandotte freshman Tori Ayala take time between preparing their costumes and volunteering for Legends of the Dark on Oct. 20 in the Down Under Food Court of the Bovee University Center.