200 Students Spend “Haunted” Night in Wilson Hall

Nearly 200 students spent a haunted night at the Wilson Hall Sleepover held on Friday, September 28.

Participants were ushered in by Student Activities Board (S.A.B.) members at the mansion’s entrance and given extensive itineraries for a night filled with supernatural activities. Students entered different rooms for events such as arts and crafts, psychic tarot card readings, videos on haunted campus history and viewings of horror movies, Paranormal Activity and The Others.

Jackie Shugard, a freshman who visited the psychic during her stay in Wilson says the woman described her “right on the dot.”

“I’ve always believed in an afterlife and ghosts. I think this sleepover is a combination of showing there is a supernatural world and having fun. I’m a believer.”

In the past, Wilson Hall has been opened up for candlelit informational tours about ghost activity on campus.

The Student Activities Board made the first Wilson Hall Sleepover spooky and memorable by pulling out all the tricks and twists to keep guests entertained.

An entire room was devoted to ghoulish themed desserts and candy, a small glimpse of the anticipated Halloween season, to be enjoyed with “mocktails,” virgin cocktails.

Costumes were available for optional photo shoots with friends, while quiet rooms stayed presented for those looking to sleep in between activities.

A professional paranormal investigator by the name of John Zaffis, who has made an appearance numerous times on television networks such as Fox, ABC and Discovery for ghost interactions, was a guest speaker at the sleepover.

With 40 years of experience, Zaffis came prepared with chilling clips from his television show, “Haunted Collector,” along with evidence that support his encounters with the afterlife.

As a published author and famous demonologist, he told students not to judge.

“Never judge. I never judge anyone about their beliefs,” said Zaffis. “I had an experience and that’s what made me take a step back and consider this is real.”

Zaffis explained how his fascination with the paranormal began at age 16 when he came in contact with the apparition of his grandfather while in his bedroom.

His curiosity has led the way to his involvement with the families that inspired famous horror films such as The Exorcism of Emily Rose and A Haunting in Connecticut.

“It’s just like anything else,” he said of his balance between work and home life. “I can walk away from dealing with these incidents and go back to real life.”

After his talk, John Zaffis continued to spook participants by leading ghost hunt tours through Wilson Hall, Woods Theater and the library. Freshman, Christopher Talocka, who joined Zaffis and a group of students on a ghost tour through Wilson Hall said it made him a believer.

“We went to the church, and we were sitting in the pews when John brought out a box, like a radio that switched between frequencies. We would ask questions and receive answers from something we could not see. It was so scary. We asked the voices why they were there, and they said ‘guard.’ You could hear multiple voices. That was my favorite part of the night,” said Talocka.

While SAB does not plan to make this an annual occurrence, junior and Vice President of major events, Lucy Russo, said “Students seemed to prefer the sleepover to the tours so we want to alternate this event every other year.”

Wilson Hall, Woods Theater and the Guggenheim Library are believed to be home to restless spirits who have sought comfort in the campus’ primary buildings. “I believe the campus could be haunted,” said Russo about the speculated rumors. “When the staff refuses to stay late or says things like “It would be strange if something (supernatural activity) didn’t happen. ‘I believe them.”

Check out time was Saturday morning at eight o’clock after a continental breakfast courtesy of the Student Activities Board, which made the entire all-nighter a chilling success. Most students who attended the Wilson Hall Sleepover agree that class in the haunted buildings will be interesting as a result of the frightening campus history.