Campus haunted house to bring Halloween spirit, benefit HOPE

Hannah Myers, Contributing Writer


The Pemberton Hall Council will get in the Halloween spirit to benefit Housing, Outreach, Prevention and Education with a haunted house.

This year’s haunted house will be from 8 to 11 p.m Friday and Saturday in the Pemberton Hall basement.

The theme for the house is “Haunted Carn-Evil.”

“You can expect to see scary clowns, freakshow characters and creepy dolls,” said Abbi Chacon, president of Pemberton’s Hall Council.

The Pemberton Hall Student Council has used the haunted house to raise funds for HOPE, which helps survivors of domestic violence, for the past five years.

“It’s a great way for the female residents of Pemberton Hall to give back to an organization that provides resources for other females and those in need,” Chacon said.

Pemberton is no stranger to scary stories.

Those who have stepped foot on campus may have heard of the story centered around Pemberton Hall.

The tale begins on a chilly January night in 1917, when a Pemberton Hall resident made her way upstairs to play the piano, according to

Unknown to her, a janitor gained access to the all-female resident building.  After beating her and leaving her for dead, the story states that the janitor then escaped into the night.

Still alive, the resident dragged herself down the stairs and beat on a counselor’s door. The counselor, Mary Hawkins, found the woman dead, said history professor Terry Barnhart.

Mary Hawkins was allegedly institutionalized and supposedly committed suicide as a result from the psychological effects of the murder.

It is rumored that Mary Hawkins and the young woman make their appearance known in Pemberton Hall.

Barnhart said he has personally had the opportunity to investigate Pemberton Hall.

He said he believes the legend stemmed out of old Pemberton Hall Halloween traditions that slowly evolved over time.

These kinds of legends are common across all universities, Barnhart said.

“It is an Eastern tradition and a good story,” Barnhart said. “But as far as believing this legend, I am skeptical. There is no official record.  You can’t prove it ever happened, but on the other hand, can you prove it never did?”

The haunted house is open to the public, and tours will begin in the foyer. Admission is $2.

Those interested in volunteering for the haunted house can get more information at a meeting at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Great Hall of Pemberton.

 Hannah Myers can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].