Thrills and chills at Freak Week’s Ghost Hunt

By Kevin Durso
October 25, 2011


Junior, Nick Casey and freshman Melanie Felkner operate the ouija board

Every year, Cabrini welcomes the Halloween spirit by providing a spooky atmosphere for students during Freak Week, a week-long celebration leading up to Halloween. Last year, CAP Board introduced a new activity to the Freak Week by bringing in a ghost hunter and allowing students to tour the mansion using his equipment.

Back by popular demand, demonologist Dwayne Claud hosted this year’s Ghost Hunter event, held on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011.

“Every campus has its legends,” Claud said. “It’s just really neat to be able to add more to those legends.”

“Last year’s Ghost Hunter event was so popular, CAP Board felt it was necessary to repeat,” assistant director of SEaL Amber LaJeunesse said. “The Class of 2015 would be hearing about it during Freak Week and we didn’t want to disappoint them by not bringing it this year.”

Claud opened the event in the Grace Hall Atrium with an hour-long presentation. Along with “Ghosthunting 101” as Claud called it, Claud included some of his own personal experiences in ghost hunting, showcasing pictures, audio and video from his career.

With every image and sound, the large crowd of students gasped in awe.

The real adventure started as the students broke into groups and toured the Woodcrest Mansion following the presentation. Among the locations toured were all three floors of the mansion, as well as the hallowed basement and boiler room.

Claud said he was “intrigued” by the basement and the stories of “shadow figures” there at last year’s event.

The basement and boiler room provided some unique experiences then, and this year’s didn’t disappoint.

Freshman education majors Jessica Pence and Allison D’Angelo said they experienced spirits located on the balcony of the second floor of the mansion. They also said that their tour guide was nearly pushed off the balcony.

Sophmore exercise science majors Katie Pickard and Katie Kennedy said that the experience of the boiler room was “scary, but kinda cool.”

“I wanted to be out of there,” Pickard said. “I felt like I wasn’t wanted there.”

Kennedy said that one picture taken “definitely showed a face there.”

Of the events during Freak Week, the Ghost Hunter drew great attention.

“The Ghost Hunter event of Freak Week is unique to CAP Board and Cabrini because it is a fun way to combine the ‘ghost stories’ of the Mansion, students’ experiences of the haunted campus, and the fun aspects of Halloween,” LaJeunesse said.

Claud said the goal was for people to learn that ghost hunting is “more than what you see on TV.”

“There is some history and folklore attached to it, and personal experience is a huge thing,” Claud said.

The students were the real driving force in bringing this event back for a second year.

“Because CAP Board is made up of students and they do their best to listen to what other students want to see on campus, the event was selected by students,” LaJeunesse said. “When events are planned and run by students, the student body is more likely to attend and appreciate the event.”

Pickard and Kennedy both said they were intrigued to attend Cabrini because of rumors that the campus was “haunted.” Both also said they would attend again if Cabrini held the event next year.

With so much history on campus, it is easy to get caught up in haunting rumors. But with Halloween haunting allowing your imagination to soar, Claud said it’s really up to you whether these supernatural forces are real.

“A place like this college has so much Revolutionary War history with it,” Claud said. “That kind of history makes the ground soaked in blood. You just wonder what kind of energy remains and if the stories that you hear are really true or something passed down.”

Kevin Durso

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