Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Haunted history goes virtual for whole month of October

October 23, 2020
<p>A giant skeleton greets people walking around downtown Kalamazoo to celebrate SkeleTour, an annual event held during the month of October. Shot on Oct. 17, 2020.</p>

A giant skeleton greets people walking around downtown Kalamazoo to celebrate SkeleTour, an annual event held during the month of October. Shot on Oct. 17, 2020.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Although times might seem grave, the Apparitions and Archaeology tour is back this year with phantasmic tales of MSU’s haunted, historical campus, in a virtual setting. The Campus Archaeology Program (CAP) and the MSU Paranormal Society brought this event back to life for the entire month. 

There will be a Facebook Live video from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on Oct. 28 with Campus Archaeology Director Stacey Camp, Campus Archaeologist Jeff Burnett and co-president of the Paranormal Society Brienna Shear. The MSU Alumni Office is also helping with the event.

“The overall goal of this event is to help facilitate CAP's goals of preserving and sharing MSU’s cultural heritage and history and finding ways to draw attention and make this history accessible to people of all ages and exciting and thematic to the season,” Burnett said.

Participants watching the live video will have a chance to ask questions about the tour or the groups in general. Viewers can also submit a survey after touring the virtual event with what they would like answered during the Q&A session.

“So far, we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on the month-long virtual haunted tour, so we’re looking forward to hopefully getting a lot of questions on the live events,” Burnett said. “Right now we’re just in the process of preparing for that.”

Program members on the panel are practicing what it would be like to answer questions about their club digitally in their own sessions. The questions they aren’t qualified to answer will be directed to Shear, the Paranormal Society representative.

“We always love engaging with the community and just telling stories about the spooky side of MSU,” Shear said. “It’s always great when we get a few people to join the club afterward.”

Anyone who is unfamiliar with either club can have any questions answered on the Facebook Live. Shear said she likes talking to people who have little to no experience with paranormal activity.

“I enjoy educating people on the different uses of technology that have come into paranormal investigating and being able to communicate with possible entities and beings that could be there,” Shear said.

Emily Springer, also co-president of the Paranormal Society, helped coordinate the aspects of the virtual tour by fact-checking information and adding anecdotes from their research. She appreciates how the club’s involvement shapes the tour.

“I think it gives us a chance to reach out and show different sides,” Springer said. “It’s a good way we can just meet with people and listen to each other’s stories."

By combining the two clubs, viewers can see the archaeological perspective on the history of the campus and the paranormal tales of rituals and research.

The tour is accessible online and can be explored at home or on MSU’s campus. Springer recommends people who are able should take their phones with them to some of the locations, like the "red room" at Mary Mayo Hall.

“Also check out the lesser-known spots on campus like the statue by the museum, there’s been some activity there,” Springer said. “Also, I would say, just try to keep an open mind. Maybe if you did see something, it doesn’t mean you’re losing your mind or you’re going crazy. People have had similar experiences, and it’s completely normal.”

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