By HOPE RUDZINSKI
It’s that time of year again, when kids eat too much candy, Halloween movies play on repeat, and Nichols College’s Fels Student Center is transformed into halls of “horror.”
Held the week before Halloween, “Fels of Screams” is the annual “fright fest” hosted by Fels Student Center managers and the students who work in the building. Everything from the set-up to the acting is done by Nichols students.
“Each year, the head student center manager is responsible for designing and executing Fels of Screams,” said Janina Messerlian, a senior general business major from Smithfield, R.I. “Some things have stayed the same over the years due to popularity and success, but other things change year to year. It depends on what the new scary movies are, and what is happening in the world. The clown-and-red-balloon idea started with the movie ‘IT,’ and the clowns that were spotted all around various towns.”
“Fels of Screams was a very successful event in my eyes with even the amount of people that showed up and participated it ran well,” said Brandon Teixeira, a Fels student manager and junior sports management major from Stoughton, Mass.
The idea for Fels of Screams originated from Nichols graduate Jamiel Ali ‘16.
“He started Fels of Screams based on an idea he had to have a haunted house on campus,” said Messerlian. “This was during his senior year at Nichols as head student center manager for Fels Student Center.”
As students go through the four different themes in a “spook walk,” they are led by a tour guide who works at Fels. The first attraction they walk through—at their own risk—is the basement of Fels. This is where “The Purge” (based on the movie) takes place. Here, guests are followed by creepy people in various masks as they walk up to the first floor.
“This floor was my favorite to work on, because it was nice to see all my friends participate and help out but also have a good time,” Teixeira said.
The second attraction students walked through was “The Zombie Exhibit” in Jazzman’s Café. After that, they were taken up to the second floor, which was transformed into “The Butcher’s Layer.” After zipping through to parts that wanted to eat them and strobe lights creating daunting effects to their eyes, students were brought to the final feature: the clowns. The clown floor was inspired by the movie and Stephen King novel “IT,” and even Pennywise stopped by toward the end to say hello.
“Some students were actually scared and screaming, which was good because that means we executed the event well,” Teixeira said.
Planning Fels of Screams is not easy, and it requires lots of organization.
“It’s put together and executed on the night of,” explained Messerlian. “Determining the theme for each floor is done in advance, the sooner the better so there is time to order and plan. The hardest part of the event is getting people to volunteer to help. We always end up with enough people, but getting everyone together poses many challenges. The weeks prior to the event, we go shopping for supplies, have a group meeting, and begin to setup Fels.”
Hope Rudzinski is a junior English major and communications minor, and a public relations assistant in the Nichols College Office of Marketing and Communications.