There are plenty of spooky and not-too-scary events happening around the OSU Institute of Technology campus and in the Okmulgee community to keep students, faculty and staff and their families entertained this Halloween.
A campus tradition for more than two decades, Carnifall is Thursday, Oct. 26, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., on the east side lawn of Covelle Hall. As many as 1,500 people attend the event every year.
Carnifall is a harvest carnival with games, food, entertainment and inflatables. While the event is free to attend, there are some activities sponsored by student clubs that do have a cost.
Bruce Force, director of Student Life, said Carnifall is an event student clubs provide for the children in the campus community and the Okmulgee community.
“OSUIT Student Life and student clubs put on this event each year as a fundraiser, but also to allow children in the community to celebrate in a safer environment than traditional door-to-door trick or treating. This gives us a chance to connect with the community and gives families a chance to visit our campus,” Force said. “My favorite part of Carnifall is seeing the smiles on the children’s faces as they play the games and enjoy the activities in a safe environment.”
Another Student Life event, the Costume Home Run Derby, is Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 5 p.m. at the campus’ Intramural Field.
Participants can win a prize for the most home runs or for best costume. The contest is open to OSUIT students, faculty and staff.
Each player has 10 softballs they can hit. Whoever hits the most home runs wins the contest.
Sam Nguyen, sports and wellness coordinator, said he already had a plan for a home run derby in the works since intramural softball was underway, so he decided to combine the contest with Halloween.
“I think it’s a great way for students to get involved and network with one another as well as having fun and dressing up in costumes,” Nguyen said. “The only thing you need to bring is yourself in a costume, all equipment will be provided.”
The School of Visual Communications’ student club, the Visual Communications Collective is hosting the Chamber of Nightmares, a walk-through haunted attraction located in the basement of the Commerce Building, 115 S. Grand Ave.
The Chamber of Nightmares is open Oct. 30 and 31 from 6 to 11 p.m., and admission is $5 with proceeds going to the student club. Participants can also get their pictures taken with some of the Chamber of Nightmare characters for $5.
This is the second year the VCC has hosted a haunted maze downtown. Last year the students transformed the basement into a haven for a zombie horde, but this year they wanted to do something different.
“The Chamber of Nightmares theme gave us more flexibility in what we could offer in terms of the scare,” said Brian Caldwell, a Visual Communications instructor and VCC club sponsor.
Kristen Cowan, VCC vice president, said they really wanted to tap into what would was scary when they were children.
“It’s like ‘Toy Story’ gone bad,” Cowan said.
Caldwell said the action wouldn’t be too intense for all ages. Those under 9 years old will be given a glow stick or glow necklace so the actors inside the maze will know to decrease the scares with those groups.
More than 300 people went through the VCC attraction last year.
Also off the OSUIT campus, the Okmulgee Runners and the Okmulgee Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring the Running Dead Zombie Run on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m.
The starting line is at Okmulgee YMCA, 106 W 13th St., and the run will finish at the McCulloch Building in downtown Okmulgee, 114 N. Grand Ave., with the Apocalyptic After-party on the building’s sixth floor.
The Running Dead Zombie Run combines a fun run with elements of flag football. Participants will be wearing several flags and while running or walking the course, zombies will come out and try to “catch” runners by grabbing their flags.
Prizes will be given to the top male and female runner, as well as the top zombie makeup artist and the zombie who “catches” the most runners.
Runners can register at the Okmulgee Chamber of Commerce office, 112 N. Morton Ave., or through the Okmulgee Runners Facebook page, and the cost is $20. Those who would like to volunteer as zombies can register at the Chamber of Commerce office and there is no cost to volunteer.