CCNY ScareFest Brings College’s Underground Tunnels to Life

This year, CCNY announced the debut of ScareFest, an interactive “haunted house”-inspired walking tour of the infamous tunnels that run underneath campus. The tunnels – originally used for quick and convenient passage between the North Academic Center, Harris Hall, and Compton-Goethals – have remained dormant for quite some time, but will be brought to life by students from the theatre department, who will be acting as writers, decorators, designers, actors and guides to transform the passages into a spook-tacular maze of horror and fun. The details of what exactly will be on display during ScareFest are still unclear but will most likely follow the format of quick jumpscares — short horror scenes performed by actors, and extensive Halloween-themed decoration.

The project was announced in late September as an initiative from President Vince Bourdeau, who sought out the opportunity as a chance to bring the CCNY community together on a night renowned for mischief and excitement. Students interested in being part of the night’s events were taken on a guided tour of the tunnels in early October and were briefed on the timeline of set-up and procedure for what the event would look like.

This project is the first-of-its-kind and is fairly ambitious in getting students to participate, both as attendees and volunteers. Unlike Lavender Week, ScareFest is a one-night-only event that is designed to draw in students and spectators to partake in the evening’s activities. The effort required from the theatre department alone has forced the cancellation of the annual 24-Hour Play Festival, a collaborative event that brings actors, playwrights and directors together to create, rehearse and perform a play within the span of a day. However, administrative higher-ups have been eager to make ScareFest a success, as the potential for larger community-building events and increased focus on arts and humanities at the college hinge on the outcome of this experiment.

Nevertheless, ScareFest provides a great opportunity for students and faculty alike to join in on the holiday fun. Tours will run from 6 pm to 10 pm and are free of charge to the public. The route starts from the lobby of the North Academic Center and will end at Harris Hall. More details about event specifics will be sent out closer to the event date.

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