Faint screams sounded from the hills of Laie late Halloween night as frightened BYU-Hawaii students attended a haunted hike put together by local residents and students.
Members of the haunted hike said they hoped to provide wholesome scares and activities for students and community members who otherwise don’t have many options.
“We wanted something different to do this year for Halloween. Every year in Laie there is never anything to do as a student,” said Kelsey Webb, a recent BYUH biomedicine graduate and Laie resident.
“Very last minute we set up a haunted hike up a one-mile trail in the hills of Laie. We had a bunch of people hiding along the trail, we featured Pennywise from ‘IT,’ a scary baby, and many others including a man who would scream and chase students as they passed by.”
Webb explained the predicament of the typical BYUH student, who only has two options for Halloween: “Go to town, which is over an hour away including traffic, or sit at home and watch a movie. We wanted to provide a better alternative for our friends and really the whole BYUH body.
Katie Larson, a sophomore in communications from California, attended the hike because she didn’t have anything to do that night. “Nightlife in Laie is super mellow. Nobody does much. We mostly just watch movies and chill, especially for Halloween. There really isn’t much to do locally.
“A bunch of people were going to town, but I had school the next day and didn’t want to stay up crazy late.” Larson decided not to go and instead went to the haunted hike.
“It was a thrilling experience! Just the trail itself was spooky, and when they had people jumping out all over the place to scare you, it got your heart beating. I hope there continues to be more activities like this one,” said Larson.
Jessie Eakins, a recent graduate in exercise and sports science and Laie resident, helped put the hike together and said, “Before we had done anything, the trail was good and spooky. It was an overcast night [and] the clouds made the moon extra spooky. It was the perfect night for a good scare.
“The forest really did all of the work,” Eakins explained as she described an experience when she helped set up. There was one moment when one of the people who was also a helper for the haunted hike stayed behind to set up some of the props. While Eakins went by herself to set up in a different area, “a bird flew down and scared me,” said Eakins.
Tyler Whetten, a local Laie resident and volunteer for the haunted hike, explained his thrill in being given the opportunity to scare and add to the excitement of Halloween for BYUH students. “It was the best Halloween of my life. The turnout was surprising to me considering how short of a notice everyone had, but I definitely can’t wait until next year to put it on again. Hopefully we get a lot more people next year.”
“Look for us next year, it will be bigger and better,” concluded Eakins.
Webb added, “Honestly, it was the perfect night [and] I had no regrets.”