Valdosta’s Haunted Trail

When learning of his job description as the graduate assistant of special events and student development at Valdosta State University (VSU), Greg Knaus knew the annual haunted trail was a big deal to the university.

Each year, the graduate assistant at VSU is tasked with organizing a haunted trail at the university’s outdoor challenge course.

“This event, at least from what I gathered, is extremely important to campus rec because, as far as a single event goes, it’s our biggest draw to bring students and community members in to help raise money,” Knaus said. “Our outdoor challenge course just has so much potential. Sometimes I walk out just during the day and I get creeped out.”

The theme of this year’s haunted trail, “Everything You’ve Ever Feared,” was decided upon by a student committee Knaus organized. He was especially excited for the theme because it allowed the team to be creative and because “it gave a lot of variety and diversity to how you can scare people,” explained Knaus.

The outdoor challenge course is being broken up into different pavilions, each with different themes to scare participants. Attendees will also get exercise going through the trail, as it utilizes the zipline course, rock wall and other parts of the challenge course. Because of the suspenseful nature of the trail, the event is for students and the community, ages 13 and older.

His team is doing more than previous teams had done in the past to promote the haunted trail to the university and the community. In addition to hanging fliers around businesses and high schools, Knaus and his committee have made short commercials and presented information to resident hall directors and Greek life.

Knaus said the event is not only for students, but it has created relationships between campus recreation and other departments at the university. “They’re all different departments on campus that are excited about this event and are looking forward to actually helping out with it even further. And I think the collaboration with all of campus and not just keeping it within campus recreation is really beneficial to the entire campus.”

With tickets at $5, or $4 for groups of five or more, proceeds from the haunted trail go toward sending undergrad students to national conferences and other special events hosted by campus recreation.

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