Haunted Happenings on Campus

This month’s most festive on-campus events

Alyssa Laube, Staff Writer & Joseph Keller, Web Editor

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A bespectacled skeleton in Fir 312. (Joseph Keller)

Pumpkins are being picked, slasher flicks are being watched, and KPU is gearing up for a hair-raising Halloween. There’s enough going on during October this year to get any student ready for the 31st, both in body and in spirit. And while you won’t find much genuine horror here, there will be warm and welcoming get-togethers for people of all ages organized across the Lower Mainland. Fortunately for students—many of which whom may, like myself, DIY their costumes this year to save a buck—most of them are free.

If you want to stay on-campus for your fall festivities, there are plenty of options to pick from. Sports fans, gamers, film buffs, and thrill seekers should be able to find something that suits their scary needs on one of the campuses before November begins.

The Annual Conjuring

“I conjure thee thou spirit!”

Every October for the last few years a class of KPU english students has undergone a right of passage by participating in an annual demon conjuring as part of one of John Rupert’s English classes. This year the class is “Satan, Sex and Demonics”, a 1202 course. The demonstration is always a favorite among students who aren’t scared away by the prospect of bringing demonic horror down upon our unsuspecting campus.

Rupert stresses that the class is merely a demonstration, and that he wouldn’t be able to put his students in any real danger even if he wanted to. To conjure a real demon would take nine days of careful preparation, he says, so performing the complete procedure would be as irresponsible as it would be time consuming.

The part of the ritual that is performed for the class is the actual evocation. The process takes about 80 minutes and involves addressing the demon by name, evoking the name of God—for protection—and letting the demon know what the summoner wants it to do.

“Because it takes 80 minutes to do, the tension kind of mounts,” says Rupert. “By the time we get to that step people are sitting straighter, getting a little bit nervous.”

When the time comes to summon the demon, Rupert says that the summoner must specifically demand that it appear in a “fair and comely human shape.” He says that the summoner can make the demon appear in any shape he chooses, but if he doesn’t specify it will appear in any shape it likes. You don’t want that.

Since Rupert has never done the complete ritual he has yet to actually bring any malicious beings onto the Surrey campus. As far as we know.

Despite the fact that Rupert is—pretty—sure that the ritual will not summon something that will follow his student around for the rest of their lives, he says that it’s not uncommon for students to be apprehensive about the whole deal.

“This is the one class that some students really don’t want to be there for,” says Rupert. “Sometimes it’s for religious reasons but more often it’s just that they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

John Rupert’s Ominous Office

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KPU English professor John Rupert sits in his office of horrors. (Joseph Keller)

The yearly summoning of a demon isn’t the only annual halloween tradition put on at KPU by John Rupert. Students entering Rupert’s office will be greeted by an elaborate display of horror and grotesquery. Each year he decorates the office to rival Fright Night and the nearby Potter’s Haunted House. Work on the display begins mid-September and the demonic decor stays up through October.

“Halloween is my time of year,” says Rupert. “It’s my Christmas. [decorating the office] is a labor of love for me, so it really helps me put myself into the frame of mind and helps bring me into the spirit of the season.”

The office is filled with severed heads, creepy clowns, and all manners of monstrosities.  Cobwebs cover shelves containingstrange and macabre literature, including a copy of the The Necronomicon, novels by H.P Lovecraft and other horror masters, and texts on arcane rituals and demonology. These texts aren’t strictly speaking part of the display—rather, they’re Rupert’s typical reading material.

The office is located at Fir 312 and the display will remain up throughout the month.

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A severed head hanging in cobwebs greets visitors of Fir 312. (Joseph Keller)

Birds and Pumpkins

You can’t have Halloween without pumpkins, and Active KSA is inviting students to pick them on a trip to Westham Island on Oct. 21 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. They will also be visiting the Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta, where they’ll search for and admire avians from chickadees to cranes.

To go on the trip, all you need is $10—on top of the price of buying your own pumpkins—and to register beforehand. For non-students, that price gets hiked up to $25. It’s suggested that pumpkin pickers and birdwatchers bring a refillable water bottle, snacks, running shoes or boots, and activewear before taking the shuttle from the Surrey campus to Richmond’s.

Revenge of the Gaming Dead

The Kwantlen Gaming Guild will be holding its second annual Halloween bash in the Surrey Conference Centre on Halloween and, of course, it’s expected to be a gamer’s paradise.

There will be a few horror games at The Revenge of the Gaming Dead, but for the most part, the Guild will be setting up some of the classics. Between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm, card games, board games, and Smash Bros will be laid out and ready for action, along with a costume contest and free junk food.

Crazed Carvers

The international office will once again be holding their annual pumpkin carving contest on October 30 in cedar 1140 on the Surrey campus and the Richmond campus rotunda from 1 to 4pm. Participants can register online. Those who register while supplies last will be provided with pumpkins, while late sign ups are welcome to bring their own. Prizes are on offer for the best carvings and participants are encouraged to come in costume.

Halloween Volleyball

Players dressed in Halloween costumes will compete in a tournament on the 29th, and whoever feels inclined to watch is welcome to do so. Each team will have at least six players, both male and female, and whichever of teams wins the best of three games gets to move onto the next round. Prizes will be given for best costume, best team costume, best spike, and winning team.

Library Movie Marathon

The administration ran a poll on the university’s website earlier this month asking students to vote on their favorite horror movies. The three winning titles will be shown at the Surrey, Richmond, and Langley libraries on Halloween from 10 am to 4 pm. Any horror buffs on campus are encouraged to come and enjoy some free popcorn and macabre classics.

 

There’s not much time left before it’s the eeriest day of the year, and KPU is stuffing its schedule full of fun events. Come out and enjoy the creepiness before Christmas takes over!

CORRECTION: We erred on the date for the Revenge of the Gaming Dead. The event is taking place on October 31, not October 29th. We apologize for the error.

 

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