The haunted tour initially began as a creative outreach event in 2012 by Katy Myers, a former CAP graduate fellow, who wrote a blog post on the MSU CAP blog with a self-guided tour of haunted sites on campus along with other spooky stories as well.
In 2014, former campus archaeologist Kate Frederick took the information from the blogs and worked with Paranormal Society to organize the tour involving five supposedly haunted sites along with tales, sightings and experiences that have been told throughout MSU’s history.
This year will consist of the same sites as the last three years: the Beaumont Tower, Mary Mayo Hall, the MSU Museum, Beal’s Laboratory and the former location of Saints’ Rest.
There are typically two to three people at each site with one group or one person presenting the archaeology and the history of the site. The information comes from campus archaeologists, campus archaeologist Jeff Burnett said.
“The other person is usually from the Paranormal Society and they read the hauntings, the ghost stories that have happened there, their own investigations,” Burnett said.
In previous years the tour began with everyone gathered at the Beaumont Tower, however, this year with the pandemic in mind attendees can start at any site and continue to visit the other sites. The staff presenting at each site will wear glow sticks to identify themselves and will be handing out maps to everyone at each site as well.
Ultimately the goal of the haunted tour is for public outreach of history and the cultural heritage of MSU.
“It has become our biggest single outreach event of the year,” Burnett said. “We typically have upwards of 300 people visiting, hearing the history of campus, and so our goal was to share that history in a creative way that draws in audience members that may not come to our other events and schools around campus.”
This will be Burnett’s third time leading the event in person with two previous times at Mary Mayo Hall. This year he will be stationed at a new site for him, Saints’ Rest.
“In the short term I’m excited to see and hopeful that a lot of people come out to the tour and feel safe doing so, and in the longer term, I’m hopeful that we will, in the next couple years, make a few changes, add to the tour and expand it as and as we do archaeology and as the Paranormal Society collects more ghost stories,” Burnett said.
The haunted tour is kid-friendly and all families or students in the East Lansing area are encouraged to attend the completely outdoors event.
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