Haunted/Halloween Happenings Abound In and Around Campus

Journalism 101.003RL Class, Staff Writers

Even though most won’t be trick-or-treating, many Brookdale students look forward to the Halloween season to indulge in the abundant candy, and apparently they’re not too old to argue about what the best candy is.
“Babe Ruth is by far the best,” said 21-year-old Karen McGilveray, an early childhood education student from Colts Neck.
“Nerds rope takes the cake in my opinion,” said 19-year-old finance major, Steven Bruno, from Marlboro.
“No way!” yelled Christina Furman, a 22-year-old business management major from Hazlet. “The best trick-or-treating candy is Reese’s cups. It is not even close.”
Proving that Halloween is for all ages, Brookdale students interviewed across campus said they are also looking forward to a wide variety of events and activities from haunted night attractions, pumpkin picking, and corn mazes to activities taking place at Brookdale.

While many spoke about haunted attractions throughout New Jersey and in Pennsylvania, many said their favorite takes place in Brookdale’s Performing Arts Center. In its 17th year, Haunted Theater opens Oct. 11 and runs for three weekends. On Fridays and Saturdays, the event is held from 7 to 10:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 7 to 9:30 pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door. Discounts are available for BCC students.
“This year will be my first year going, and I am really excited to see what the hype is all about,” 20-year-old Dan Bradley, a communications major, from Old Bridge, New Jersey.
Haunted Theater is a 20-minute, self-guided frightening maze and was rated the top overall attraction in 2018 by New Jersey Haunted Houses. More information is available at http://brookdalehauntedtheater.com/
Student Life and Activities is planning a bus trip to the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride, a Halloween attraction in Pennsylvania on Oct. 16. The bus will leave campus at 5 p.m. for a 7 p.m. appointment with Norman. Tickets can be purchased at the SLC ticket window. The student ticket price is $20, staff is $30, and community is $35.

“In the past we have done a trip to the Eastern State Penitentiary, but this year, to change things up, we are working on a trip to Bates Motel,” said Becky Nastro, a 22-year-old business administration major from Matawan.
Nastro, who is the Student Life Board president, explained in the past, the board put on a Halloween dance, but due to a smaller than expected turnout last year, they are rebranding it as a Halloween party. The event will take place Oct. 26 in the Navesink rooms in the Student Life Center.

“I’m most looking forward to getting the life scared out of me at Fright Fest,” said 20-year-old education major, Brittany Salerno of Howell. “It’s been a tradition of my family’s ever since my niece turned 12 three years ago and suddenly became a thrill-seeker like the rest of us.”

Salerno is not alone. Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson comes up often when BCC students talk about Halloween fun. This year the theme park is hosting their second annual 30-Hour Coffin Challenge beginning on Oct. 13 at 2:30 p.m. and concluding on Oct. 14 at 8:30 p.m. Among thousands of applicants, only six people will be chosen to withstand the claustrophobic conditions of a coffin, with one person earning all the bragging rights. Those who think they’re tough enough can view the requirements and rules of the contest at https://www.sixflags.com/greatadventure/special-events/other-events/fright-fest-30-

When most people hear Fright Fest, they just think of people dressed in scary costumes, running around to scare the candy corn out of people walking through the park. They’re right, but for those ready for more intense scares, Six Flags offers haunted mazes for an additional price now through Nov. 3. Tickets can be purchased online for a discounted price via https://www.sixflags.com/greatadventure/special-events/fright-fest Both standard admission and express pass tickets are available, ranging in price from $45 to $65 and granting access to all eight mazes.
Mention Halloween spirit to Brookdale students, and many talk about A. Casola Farms, which features holiday-related activities such as pumpkin-picking, hayrides and a haunted maze. Located off of Route 34 in Holmdel, the farm offers an array of activities for all ages. For information, visit http://acasolafarms.com/halloween-fallfest/

Halloween thrills go beyond just “pretending” things are haunted. Clinton Road in West Milford is one of the most famous “haunted roads” in the state. The urban legend about the road is how the ghost of a boy returns coins to people after tossing them into the creek. Even without the haunting stories, driving down the dark, wooded, 12-mile stretch of road itself could potentially send chills down your spine.

Speaking of urban legends, the Old Navy in Holmdel has a mysterious and haunted past, according to a Brookdale student who works there.

“I work at an Old Navy in Holmdel and it’s said that two kids died before the store was there and a couple kids came in and vandalized their gravestone. So people say that is why the two boys haunt our store,” said Tatiana Aponte, a 19-year-old nursing student from Hazlet.

Of course, many people prefer their ghosts to be a little less real, and Hollywood has created plenty of options. Paul Mason, a 26-year-old information technology major, said this is the time of year for “any old slasher movie.”

For this who prefer new thrills, the new Joker film was just released and creating a buzz and Zombieland comes out Oct. 17. Both films will be playing at Cinemark. You can visit www.cinemark.com (Links to an external site.) for ticket prices and movie times. Student discount tickets are available at the SLC window for several area movie theaters.
People have different ways to celebrate the Halloween season, including spending time with their friends and family.
“I like to make costumes for my daughter and then go to the church for a party there.” said 29-year-old nursing major, Simone Henna from Egypt.
Memories and traditions associated with Halloween also are a large part of how the holiday is celebrated.
“My cousins and I would all gather at my aunt’s house, and we would have apple cider, decorate pumpkins, go trick or treating, and have a costume contest. But as we go older, everyone went their own ways,” said Raquel Morales, a 40-year-old respiratory therapy major from Neptune.
Brookdale students are already getting into the spirit and planning fun costumes to wear for parties and other events. “I’m gonna be Fred Flintstone and his wife Wilma with my guy friend,” said Carly Salvesen, an 18-year-old biology major from Monroe.
On Oct. 2, Brookdale students carved and painted pumpkins. “It was a lot fun. I didn’t know Brookdale put on events like that,” said Jaquelen Gonzalez, a 19-year-old business major from Old Bridge.
Some students said they will take part in Halloweekends, which is a popular way for college students to dress up and celebrate at four-year schools.
Partying at universities is not the only way that students can have fun while dressing up. Many Halloween-oriented events are being held by local cities and bars. Hoboken is hosting an official Halloweekend Pub Crawl starting 5 p.m. Saturday Oct. 26 to 11 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31.

A three-day pass for this pub crawl costs $25.
Another Halloween event that is being hosted locally is the Neverland Halloween costume party in Long Branch, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. The entrance fee is $20, and there is a costume contest with the chance to win a $200 cash prize for the best costume.


Contributing writers to this story are journalism students Anna Mako, Chloe Rampersad, Destiny Jarvis, Emily Cicchino,Tatiana Mackel, Lauren Wollman, Mary Linda Hernandez, Brandon Cruz, Chris Gibson, Ashley Bird, Jill Casey, Carla Levine, Valerie Millering and Gabe ValenteHaunted Theatre