As Chapel Hill prepares to limit the number of ghouls and goblins roaming Franklin Street this Halloween, other campuses are expecting large crowds of revelers both on and off campus.
Officials said Halloween festivities at N.C. State University, Duke University and East Carolina University will attract sizeable crowds from across the state through Monday night.
Raleigh’s annual Haunted Halloween Hike, which takes place on Hillsborough Street, is scheduled for Saturday night and is expected to attract 5,000 to 7,000 people, said Jeff Murison, executive director for the Hillsborough Street Community Services Corporation.
The event features costume-clad attendees visiting restaurants and businesses, many of which offer special deals for the event, Murison said.
He said the hike has become an annual tradition for NCSU students, who make up the majority of those who attend.
“Basically, it’s students dressed up in costumes of every imaginable kind walking Hillsborough Street and going from establishment to establishment having a fun night,” he said. “The event definitely grows each year.”
Murison said this year’s hike will also include a haunted house located in a previously vacant building being rented by the Raleigh Jaycees, which is a community service organization.
“We’re really excited to have (the Jaycees) on the street,” he said. “It’s a great attraction for people all over Raleigh, and especially for students who aren’t over 21.”
Although Duke does not typically hold celebrations the day of Halloween, a student-run Innovations Committee has collaborated to create a new haunted walkthrough on campus Saturday night, said Shane Stone, chairman of the committee.
Stone said he expects attendance to be high due to the timing of the event, which is free of charge.
“(This weekend) is Parents’ Weekend, so we’ll be getting family plus students,” he said. “We knew that fewer people would come out on a Monday, so we felt Saturday evening would be best.”
Scott Shelton, chief of police at ECU, said attendance at traditional downtown Greenville celebrations will remain high despite Halloween falling on a Monday.
“It’s a very large event that draws people from a lot of different areas outside of Greenville,” Shelton said. “At least a couple thousand typically join in on-campus activities, and that probably triples in the downtown area.”
Shelton said campus police have no intention of clearing students off the streets earlier than usual on Monday night.
“The bars close at two o’clock, and that’s when downtown will be cleared out,” he said. “We do have officers that are near the downtown area to assist the Greenville Police Department, and we have mutual aid help from other departments.”
Shelton said large Halloween crowds in years past have remained under control.
“It’s usually a really good atmosphere on campus,” he said. “I’ve been to most of the events since I’ve been here, and the students and others attending have had very good attitudes and have done a good job of handling themselves.”
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