Witches, wonder women and power rangers — not something you’d expect in the halls of a medical and health professions school. But that’s exactly what 600 children found inside Lewis Hall this week.
It was part of the annual Haunted Hallway event led by EVMS students. Launched in 2005, it is the school’s longest-running community-outreach event.
Each year, EVMS students plan educational games, gather candy and decorate the entire first floor with cobwebs, spiders and spooky lighting. When the doors open, students from nearby elementary schools get to trick or treat safely, enjoy arts and crafts, play games and more. In one section, children were able to learn the basics of CPR.
Matthew Van de Graaf, MD Class of 2022, says it’s a welcome break from the rigors of medical school. “As a student, it’s easy to spend all of your time studying, but Haunted Hallway is a really great way to interact with kids from our community that we might see on clinical rotations. It’s awesome to get early exposure to them in a really fun way.”
Anna Cronin, MD Class of 2022, remembers coming to EVMS during her high school years, “I was part of a program that came to EVMS to learn about anatomy and I’m so happy to take part in any event that gives back to the community. It’s amazing to hang out with these kids and inspire them.”
While the event only lasts a few hours, EVMS students spend months planning every little detail. Joann Bautti, Director of Student Affairs, says the event is a project students are very passionate about. “The main reason we do this is so that children can have a fun, educational and safe place to celebrate Halloween. They love it and we love it, too.”