The sound of cauldrons bubbling and ghosts whispering filled the hallways of the Weber State Davis campus Thursday night. Students gathered in the D3 Ballroom to share ghost tales and sugary refreshments at the Scary Story Spooktacular.
This event was hosted by the Davis Learning Center. It was created with the intent for students to come enjoy themselves, but also to advertise for the writing center.
Sam Bartholomew, the Writing Center supervisor and a main organizer of this event, defined the main purpose as having a little Halloween fun.
“We wanted to get people together reading scary stories, classic literature or their own writing. (It’s) to have some fun,” he said.
Attendees took turns standing at the podium to share Halloween stories. They had the choice of reading an original story, bringing their own traditional story or choosing one provided by the center. Various stories were printed and scattered on the tables, including retellings of classics and poetry by Edgar Allan Poe.
Bartholomew chose to write a few stories in preparation for the event and shared them with his audience.
However, Amber Branham, a sophomore in nursing, chose to share an Alabama ghost story that has floated around by word of mouth.
“Because it was an Alabama story, it had a little bit of accent and I thought it would be fun to bring out my drawl a bit,” Branham said.
She commented that it would have been nice to have more attendees at the event, an opinion others agreed with.
“I wish there were more students. I referred this to all my classes, but none of them came,” Laura Stott, a professor in the English department said.
During the planning stages, Bartholomew approached Stott to ask for her thoughts and input concerning the event. Because of this, she had known about the event since the beginning of the school year.
Stott presented a story she picked up at the event, about a ghost diner.
“I thought the decorations were really fun – they did a fantastic job,” Stott said.
Shannon Wordell, a NUAMES senior who has been taking Early College classes at Weber for two years, made a spur of the moment decision to attend the spooky story tellings.
“I saw a few posters and noticed the ballroom was open. I’m here because one of my classes let out early,” Wordell explained.
Wordell did not consider herself to be a big literature fanatic, but is a fan of Halloween nonetheless.
“I love this kind of thing,” she said. “I really like this time of year.”
Throughout the event, more people shared stories by others than original ideas.
“I think we may have under-emphasized in the advertising that people could bring their own work,” Bartholomew admitted.
Bartholomew said the Davis Learning Center has been brainstorming ideas for future events. These may include writing competitions.
“The writing center is available to any student writing any paper and at any stage in the paper. We’d love to give them tips,” he said.