Haunted hallway, door decorating and prizes for Halloween

Oakland University’s usual residential Haunted Halls are replaced with a Haunted Habitat and Hallway hosted by WXOU, OU’s student radio station, and door decorating contests in Housing.

In-person events have become few and far between to follow social distancing guidelines, but instead of skipping Halloween, some students are promoting alternatives. 

“It’s been upsetting for myself as well as some of my residents, but we are doing the best that we can,” Resident Assistant Brendan Triola said. “But I am thankful that for the most part, everyone seems to have public health first on their priorities and are willing to sacrifice some of the normal things that we do every year for the sake of others.”

WXOU’s General Manager Teyler Thompkins proposed that a Haunted Hallway in the Oakland Center could be a socially distant replacement for Housing’s traditional Haunted Halls. WXOU is partnering with Student Congress and Student Activities Funding Board introducing a seasonal and safe haunted hall to the Oakland Center (OC) on Oct. 29 from 7-9 p.m.

Everyone is encouraged to wear costumes. Although costumes and decorative masks are welcomed, guests must also still wear a medical facial mask.

Guests will enter through the west staircase nearest the front entrance and make their way through the basement of the OC with activities and snacks along the way.

Staff members will be stationed throughout the area to ensure the line is moving and socially distant. This extent of separation wouldn’t be possible in the narrow residential hallways.

The hall and windows will be lined with spooky decorations and an occasional scare. Despite social distancing standards, Thompkins managed to balance jump scares and safety by focusing on the windows of the various organizations. Costumed staff will be separated from guests by the glass, making a surprising yet safe scare.

“With the radio station already playing [Halloween music], gearing up, we’re gonna have people kind of jump from behind the window and beat on the window, trying to scare people,” Thompkins said.

While the Halloween decorations will be a fitting backdrop, students can also take a pit stop at a photo booth. Photos will be printed immediately after, and guests can take home a photo momentum.

After heading back to a residence hall, there is another option to get involved with the students in your hall or building. Door decorating contests will be going on until Oct. 30 at noon. 

“We still can’t gather all together, but it’s been more successful than our virtual programming has been,” Triola said.

Anyone interested can email [email protected] with their door submission, and they’ll be notified by Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. if their door was worthy of a prize.

Halloween on campus will look different this year, but WXOU’s Haunted Hallway and Door Decorating Contests may offer a similarly spooky substitute.