Legends of the Dark Enters 23rd Year of Haunting Campus

Story and photos by Katie Sergent

For three nights each October, Central Michigan University hosts Legends of the Dark— a haunted campus tour that takes participants to the most haunted places on CMU’s north campus in hopes of leaving them spooked.

Legends of the Dark volunteers: Megan McNefm, Kassidy Cook and Christyna Davis

Legends of the Dark first started on campus in 1995, and this year marks the event’s 23rd anniversary.

Legends of the Dark is put on by Trout Hall, and every year the proceeds are given to a local charity. This year, all proceeds will go to the Isabella County Restoration House.

Madison Thayer, a coordinator for Legends of the Dark, said that the event was a good way to get students involved and raise money for a charitable organization.

“People love to volunteer; it’s really fun to get dressed up with makeup for halloween and go out and scare people,” Thayer said. “Sometimes people bring their friends and they do it together, some people get the thrill of scaring their own friends. It’s just a fun and easy way to volunteer for a good cause.”

Erica Roman, a Legends of the Dark volunteer, said she enjoyed taking on many the different roles for the tours each night.

Legends of the Dark volunteers: Madeline Sherman, Onica Bocanegra, Mali Borisch and Nikki Crouse

“It was interesting being on the other side of a haunted house-style thing,” Roman said. “There was a group from the floor of people that I live with in my residence hall that came through. It was funny because some of them recognized me, but I was still able to scare them.”

Senior Jade Driscoll, a Legends of the Dark attendee, was no stranger to the haunting tour.

“I’ve been to Legends of the Dark every year since I’ve been at CMU,” Driscoll said. “My freshman year I was a tour guide, and for the last three years I’ve been going and watching. The best thing about this year was that they [Legends of the Dark] incorporated new stories that weren’t there in the past. It made it feel like a completely new experience.”

For first-timer Caroline Murray, she could feel the warmth from those coordinating the event, despite the ghostly chill in the air.

“Our tour guide got snatched by some ‘ghosts’ right away, that was wild,” Murray said. “There’s a reason why this event has been around for 23 years. The students really put in a lot of work and dedication to put on a great event and raise money for charity. It’s a real labor of love.”