For the past six years, UNC Charlotte’s CAB (Campus Activities Board) has gotten together to figure out the best ways to scare students. All of this planning comes together in one night of screams, scares and freaky encounters at the annual Haunted Union Takeover. This year was no exception.
As students entered the union this past Thursday, they were met with all kinds of Halloween fun. This year’s theme, The Nightmare on Craver Road, covered a variety of phobias sure to make you squirm. From the flavored oxygen bar to the black light mirror art and Fear Factor style challenges, there was plenty to keep the Union full of thrill seekers for hours.
Vaidehi Patel, a senior at UNC Charlotte has been to a few of CAB’s union takeovers over the years.
“The Haunted Union Takeover is probably my most favorite one. There’s always a good level of fun to the Haunted Union. I think it’s the most popular and the most crowded because they give a lot of goodies and giveaways,” Patel said.
The entire night has been in planning for months. With this being one of the biggest yearly CAB takeovers, there are a lot of different parts involved in making it happen.
Just last week the Union was decked out for homecoming week, exploding with Niner pride. Volunteers and CAB members were in the Union at 6 a.m. the Sunday after to break down all of the homecoming decorations and to start turning the building into the spider web covered one you saw all week.
Every year there are a number of outside vendors brought in for the takeover.
“There are at least ten or twelve and then on top of that, our advisors have been working with student organizations and different students, getting actors and things for the mansion that’s going to be upstairs and for the set-up and break down of the mansion,” said Senior Katlin Watts, the media relations coordinator for CAB.
Each Haunted Union has a different theme, and from the tweets and flyers for the event, CAB definitely took advantage of the recent popularity of killer clowns like Pennywise from Stephen King’s IT.
“We didn’t want to make it too clown themed because some people are actually truly afraid of clowns, so we want to make sure it’s nice for everybody. But as far as a marketing aspect we were trying to make it like ‘IT,'” Watts said.
As far as planning what level of fear they wanted the haunted mansion to offer, Watt says there was a range of opinions in the committee.
“Honestly, that depends on who you ask. Some of the board would definitely like it to be the scariest thing ever, some of us are really moderate and then some of the people are always looking out for the people that don’t like scary things,” she said.
Watts remembers her first Haunted Union Takeover in 2014 as being her favorite.
“I’d never been to anything like that. I thought that was really cool the way they did it and just the fact that they have a haunted mansion and had student actors too, so it is scary but I remember seeing a familiar face and saying ‘Aren’t you in one of my classes?’”