This past Halloweekend, I attended my first ever Scare Fair hosted by the River Campus Libraries. It was held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29 and featured plenty of free candy, games, a costume contest, a scavenger hunt, and most importantly, a trip to the top of Rush Rhees.
After leaving our Oktoberfest feast at Douglass, we headed to Rush Rhees to find the scavenger hunt table, where we received our Rush Rhees tower tour tickets. Once we’d visited the five locations listed on it and received our stamps, we could take the elevator up to the top of the tower. Our first stop was in Lam Square, where the Scare Fair started. The Strong Jugglers were performing with various juggling props in costumes, and the area was filled with spooky decorations, like a tapestry promoting “The Human Bookworm,” the library’s fitting spin on the human centipede horror film. We headed to one of the information tables, where we met some of the subject librarians and got our first dose of candy of the afternoon.
Our next stops were the Art & Music Library and iZone. iZone offered a creative game where everyone in our group was given a sheet filled with circles and had three minutes to turn as many circles as possible into new objects. I got a little too creative with my drawings by attempting to illustrate head-on views of different animals, which slowed me down, causing me to lose the opportunity to get a polaroid of myself in a giant popcorn box and be entered into a raffle for a fluffy Pendleton blanket.
Afterwards, we trekked through the tunnels to the Physics-Optics-Astronomy Library (a space I had never been to nor knew existed), which is on the third floor of Bausch and Lomb. We were then challenged to utilize the Dewey Decimal System to find a book about entanglement, which thankfully wasn’t too difficult.
Before heading over to our last stop, Studio X in Carlson Library, we popped over to the Greene Center in Dewey Hall for “Hallowgreene.” They had a wide variety of Kit-Kat flavors, a costume contest, and a beer-pong-esque version of Connect 4 where you had to bounce the balls off the table and into the grid. This time, victory was mine!
Studio X is a new edition to the River Campus Libraries and describes itself as a “hub for extended reality” at the University. While there, we got to try on virtual reality headsets and choose from a few experience options. I opted to play “Beat Saber” — a game that won’t leave me alone in my Youtube and TV ads — and selected a level with Billie Eilish’s classic song “Bad Guy.” I’ll admit, I didn’t really know what I was doing while playing, as there were no clear instructions, so I just tried to hit as many of the fast moving squares as possible as they came towards me. It felt like a combination of “Guitar Hero” and “Just Dance,” the latter of which was one of my favorite childhood Wii games (after “LEGO Star Wars,” of course).
As we re-entered Rush Rhees, we noticed a room off of the main atrium that had therapy dogs, so, naturally, we went in to visit them. All of them except the massive English Mastiff were dressed up in costume. The Mastiff was easily the largest dog I had ever met — just one of his ears was as big as my hand. My favorite of the bunch had to be the French Bulldog with a dragon hoodie. They were all very friendly, as one would hope therapy dogs would be, and seemed to be enjoying the loads of attention all the dog-starved students were giving them.
After petting all the dogs, we finally returned our scavenger hunt tickets to get in line for the elevator in the stacks. Once we got off the elevator, we followed the stairs and platform to one of the windows of the tower, which was propped open. Climbing out onto the terrace, we were hit with a gust of chilly fall wind and the sight of an amazing view. The airport runways are easily visible from the Eastman Quad facing portion of the terrace, as is the Rochester skyline if you walk around towards Sue B. I could even watch the pumpkin launch going on at Wilson Quad. Going to the top of Rush Rhees has been on my UR bucket list ever since I learned it was possible, so I’m glad I finally got to check it off.
Overall, the Scare Fair was a great way to kick off Halloweekend — along with the many other Halloween-themed campus events happening throughout the day!