This Halloween, Grove House Serves Up Spooky with a Smile

Each Halloween, student workers transform the interior of the 115-year-old Grove House at Pitzer College, seen here in 2015, into a haunted house. (Liam Brooks • The Student Life)

For many students, Halloween – and the associated “Halloweekend”, the nearest weekend when events and revelry tend to transpire – are chances to party and socialize with others. But for the Halloween’s truly scary side, you can turn to Pitzer College’s Grove House and its very own haunted house, the “Haunted Grove,” which will seek to bring fright to students on Friday, Oct. 27 from 9 to 11 p.m.

While the Haunted Grove is an annual event, each year provides new surprises through a different theme. This year the Grove House Committee has decided to orchestrate a Stephen-King-themed night — that’s all TSL can say for now.

With regards to the scare-factor of the event, Haunted Grove coordinator and Grove House Caretaker Molly Edison PZ ‘18 said that the thrills are mainly comprised of jump-scares from the Haunted Grove volunteer staff, but she doubted that the event will be “out-of-control scary.” Edison also added that the staff will be prohibited from touching visitors during the event.

This year, 15 volunteers will be setting-up the Haunted Grove during the day and participating throughout the entire three-hour event.

Although this is Edison’s first year as a volunteer, she has also been a visitor in the past. From her two years of attendance, she recalled a 15-minute line to enter the Grove House, with the actual walk-through lasting for about the same amount of time.

For John Gittens PZ ‘20, this will be his second year participating in the event as a volunteer staff member. In an email to TSL, Gittens wrote that last year’s Haunted Grove sustained a line throughout its three hours of operation due to the magnitude of visitors and the Grove’s immense popularity. Gittens added, “I was really surprised by how many people came [to the Haunted Grove] from Pitzer, the other 5Cs, and even the surrounding community of Claremont.”

In addition to the event, the Grove House will host a pumpkin carving celebration and participate in Halloween in the Halls, a Pitzer trick-or-treating event for children in the Inland Empire. The Grove House Committee is also currently planning its yearly birthday celebration, which will occur on Thursday, Nov. 2. Edison anticipates that this event will combine its most popular events, including Crafternoons, Story Slams, and Groove at the Grove.

Since the Haunted Grove is “not-party-[or]-drinking-related,” the event is tailored for people who “wouldn’t necessarily want to be going out on a Friday night or every night of Halloweekend,” Edison said.

Gittens shared his eagerness to participate in the event. “I had a great time last year and wanted to work on making it even better,” Gittens wrote. “It really takes student effort and good leadership to get things done and with Molly as the Grove House caretaker I’m excited to help her make Haunted Grove the best it can be!”

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