STORY BY CORIE LYNN
The end of October is fast approaching and so is Halloween.
Dorms are decorated with skeletons, pumpkins, and spiderwebs while inflatable ghosts and grim reapers grace the front yards of houses around Hays.
As families and students prepare their costumes and bowls of candy for the holiday, the Fort Hays State University History Club has other plans for the coming week.
This week, the club is hosting the Amazing Ghost Race.
This race is a scavenger hunt that will, on October 16, take teams of FHSU students to haunted and historic sites in Hays with prizes for the winning teams.
“This is the first year for the Amazing Ghost Race,” said History Club president, Jackie Honings, “A few years ago there was a push by the coordinator to get a list together of the supposedly haunted places in town or some that were just eerie.”
It was Honings’ idea, however, to use this list to create this year’s scavenger hunt.
“I also put in more research to find other places as well on the list with historical meaning to the town itself,” she said.
Besides this, Honings also said that she will be the one setting up the clues and activities for the teams at each location. She will also communicate with the teams through texts as they progress through the hunt, as well as take video and pictures as students complete the required activities.
Because the hunt will take teams to both spooky and historic sites, the Amazing Ghost Race will attract lovers of the paranormal and history alike.
Regardless of interest, the scavenger hunt is designed to teach all of its participants more about the history of the community they live in.
“The Amazing Ghost Race will give the students a little bit of information dating back to the beginnings of the town,” Honings said, “They will see some of the important sites such as the Old Fort as well as the Hanging Bridge and learn their significance.”
While the scavenger hunt was created in part to teach students about the history, the participating teams are expecting a fun competition for the evening.
In fact, the thought of such a competition is exciting to more than just on-campus students.
“I even had a virtual student this week from Virginia ask how I put the race together because she wants to recreate a similar event in her town for her friends and family,” said Honings.
Even as students prepare for the premiere of the Amazing Ghost Race, the History Club has more events planned for the coming year. One such activity will be a partnership with the FHSU University Activities Board to host a drive-in movie showing of Frankenstein.
According to Honings, the club will also hold a Bingo fundraiser later this year for everyone in the Hays community and is in the midst of planning a trip to Washington, D.C.
Until then, the club will watch the beginnings of their scavenger hunt as students seek out the supernatural places (and prizes) that are waiting for them.