The Shoals area gets its Halloween Fix

A striking shot of Pennywise dorm decor created by UNA junior Emily Smith.

UNA students celebrated Halloween this year with a number of inclusive events on or near campus in the past week.

Festivities began with a spooky silent disco last Thursday night sponsored by the University Program Council (UPC), which was similar to a traditional school dance but with a twist. There was music, but it was not played from loudspeakers. All attendees were given a set of Bluetooth headphones upon entering which housed all the music of the night.

Everyone had the option of choosing which music station they preferred to listen to directly from their headphones. Students were also encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and to participate in the costume contest.

That same night, some courageous students and Shoals community members went on a chilling ghost walk around Florence, a popular annual event.

On Friday night, UNA’s psychology club hosted a lock-in at Wesleyan Hall, which has been rumored for years to be haunted.

A few other events dedicated to this spooky holiday season occurred such as last night’s performance from the UNA contemporary Ensemble for a “Halloween movie night” which featured music along with scary stories.

Tonight, the popular local brewery and performance center Singin’ River Brewing will host a free concert featuring bands Carver Commodore, The Daybreaks and Pond Diver. There will also be a costume contest and free snacks.

Some UNA students got into the holiday spirit and tapped into their creative side to display impressive decorations. Along with help from her roommate, Chelsea Thompkins and another friend, UNA junior Emily Smith, painted a vivid portrait of the infamous Pennywise from the classic horror movie “IT.”

As an art education major, her decorations definitely show her skills as well as get people excited but slightly terrified for the Halloween season.

Smith used posters as the medium, pencils to sketch, and acrylic paint to bring the art to life. The designing and painting only took about five hours total to complete. Smith and Thompkins also added the perfect finishing touches: looming red balloons adorning the sides of the wall as another reference to “IT.”

The painting features Pennywise the clown’s staple fiery red hair, wild glowing eyes and menacing, sharp teeth.

“I think ours looks like a mix between new Pennywise and old Pennywise,” Smith said.

Students who walked the dorm halls were caught off-guard by the striking image. Smith described some of her favorite reactions, some of which included people who could only curse out of sheer surprise. While those reactions were expected, one in particular was the complete opposite.

“Someone literally came around and was like ‘oh, that really turns me on,’” Smith said.

Smith said another passerby had fallen into the wall as she went around the hall corner.

In addition to local Halloween celebrations, some popular fast-food chains decided to pay their respects to all things creepy in the spirit of the holiday.

Domino’s Pizza in Japan released a “Roulette” pizza, which contains ghost pepper sauce on only one slice. There is no indication of which slice will burn the mouth of its victim.

Burger King received a lot of attention with its new “Ghost Whopper.” The pale white, cheddar cheese buns were not the main source of this burger’s attention though. Much of it was due to Burger King using the psychic medium Riz Mirza in a promotion video in which he allegedly allows spirits from the haunted Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles to possess him and taste the burger. To add to the mystery, it was only sold at ten locations in the entire country.

So for anyone in the Shoals area dying to try the ghoulish treat, the nearest location to get one is over two hours away in Memphis, Tenn