Birch Mansion Transformed into Haunted Insane Asylum

Photo Courtesy of Michelle Santucci

Among Oktoberfest’s activities this weekend was the Student Government Association and Alpha Psi Omega’s Haunted Mansion on Friday night, which left students from all over campus feeling frightened. The Haunted Mansion has become a traditional portion of Oktoberfest’s festivities and one of the most popular attractions of the weekend-long celebration. Each year, Alpha Psi Omega takes on a different theme, this year’s concept being an insane asylum.

Due to the weather, students gathered in the E-wing and were welcomed by signs reading “Welcome to the Psych Ward,” with drawings of skeletons and ghosts adorning the signs. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and other Halloween songs set the mood as groups waited to start their tour.

“I thought it was really creative given the circumstances,” said junior Melissa Aiello.

Groups were ushered into a neighboring classroom for a slideshow on the history of the Birch Mansion, which quickly turned into gossip over the building’s haunted past.

“We’re not supposed to be showing them this,” cried one of the tour leaders.

The leaders then escorted the group to the Birch Mansion lobby. Huddled together, students suddenly found themselves in the dark. When the lights came back on, they were face-to-face with the ghostly patients of the ward, weaving their way into the crowd. Patients eating teddy bears and crying hysterically were accompanied by surgeons covered in blood and a doctor warning all tour members not to get too close or interfere with the procedures. The patients weren’t shy about getting in the space of the students in for a scare, making sure their time in the Mansion was worthwhile. With Halloween just around the corner, the Haunted Mansion was the perfect thing to get students in the mood for the haunts to come.

“I enjoyed the haunted mansion and the air of Halloween gifted to the campus,” said junior Monica Lucianna.