Briar Cliff is now the Halloween destination for chainsaw demons and clowns who go bump in the night


Do the sleeves of the tied jacket extend in the front or go back?

That was the question Breyer Cliff University (BCU) student Christian Vietor faced wearing the restrictive “County Asylum” wardrobe.

Strat Street on college campuses? Exams must be pretty tough, right?

Well, no. Vitor, who also wears a “Pennywise the Clown” mask, is one of the students participating in UBC’s “Haunted Tunnels,” an annual Halloween event that dates back nearly 30 years.

“In fact, we can’t say the actual start date for the haunted tunnels,” explained UBC accommodation coordinator Ashley Pawlowski. “But we know it was around in the early to mid ’90s.”

Every Halloween since then, the underground tunnel, which usually allows dorm students to escape harsh winter weather, turns into a terrifying obstacle course, filled with objects that get stuck in the night.

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From Thursday through Monday, the tunnels will be open for people brave enough - or reckless enough - to experience some spooky fun at Heelan Hall in the BCU.

Family-friendly rides will take place from 6-7 p.m. every night, while pure distress will occur from 7-9 p.m.

All proceeds will be split between student organizations as well as for a UBC Christmas party for people with disabilities.

“Every year, we try to raise the level of awe with more fear, more scary rooms and more scary people jumping at you in the dark,” Paulowski said. “This year, we’re focusing on scary movies from the present to the past.”

Which is good news for University of British Columbia student Kayleigh Lukes, who considers herself an ill-fated movie fan.

“I love scary movies and can’t wait to see the new ‘Smile’ movie that just opened,” she said. “It looks very scary.”

Perhaps, the movie Lux will give some advice on how to be terrifying as the official “scary” in the haunted tunnels.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are,” she said. “People will always feel afraid.”

This is especially true because many fear that the tunnels may actually be haunted by some malevolent spirits.

“I’ve never personally experienced anything out of the ordinary,” said Pawlowski. “But I heard some rumors.”

Oh come on. How naive do you think we are? We are not afraid of going through tunnels. Wait, is this our imagination or is a demon carrying a chainsaw following us?

No, it’s simply University of British Columbia student Kayden Werner, who plays the demonic Bob Villa in the game Haunted Tunnels.

He said, “I think most college students love Halloween, and it’s a chance to get a chance to play dress-up.”

Maybe yes and maybe no. We know Werner was getting Jeb Jeep from Jarmier Blunt, who was transformed into a character as an ominous clown with a ceramic face.

“That’s really scary, man,” Werner said as Blunt tilted his head to one side and got on his knees in the dark BCU tunnels.

But believe it or not, Blunt insists he never watches horror flicks.

“If I had to choose between watching Halloween movies and Christmas movies, I would choose Christmas moves every time,” he said.

Pawlowski nodded in agreement.

“I dread the road too easily,” she said. “They’ve tried to recruit me as one of the scariers in the past but I’d rather organize the haunted tunnels than be in the middle of the action.”

Next, perhaps Pawlowski should have a chat with Lukes, who said being an All Hallows ogre has a bright side.

“If you’re having a tough day, you can kick out a little aggressiveness,” she suggested.

However, for Pawlowski, Briar Cliff’s Haunted Tunnels is just another way the university connects with the community.

“For some people, our haunted tunnels have become an annual tradition,” she said. “We are happy to have them on campus.”

And who knows? They might even be able to see Pennywise tied up or frightened by a chainsaw maniac.