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Sigma Pi haunts the mine for halloween

UW-Platteville fraternity volunteers at The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museum

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The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museum held a Haunted Mine Tour on Oct. 27 in order to get into the Halloween spirit. This event invited the Platteville community to participate in a tour that differed from the usual informational tour that they provide daily. It brought in seven volunteers from Sigma Pi: Kennaiah Rouse, Zac Johnson, Mitch Dolak, Jack McCann, Garrison Ledbury, Joseph Wilson and Cody Schwochert. These boys participated as ‘ghost-miners’ and story tellers. The Sigma Pi brothers who volunteered as ghost-miners were painted a ghostly-white, and they were dressed in jeans and flannels in order to stay as close to character as they could.

“We had done some work for [The Mining & Rollo Jamisson Museum] last year and the year before that. They had our contact information, so when they reached out to us saying they needed volunteers, we said absolutely,” senior industrial technology management major and Sigma Pi President Zac Johnson said. 

This tour invited participates to descend deep into the 173-year-old Bevans Lead Mine which was established in 1845. This tour started within the museum where employees set up a funeral display that presented Victorian funeral apparel for both men and women along with children’s coffins and photos of children who had passed away.  The tour continued on into several activities for children such as fortune-telling. The storytellers interacted with the children and guests before the tour began by telling fortunes and playing a variety of games. In order to tell a future, the storytellers did a lead reading. They had a melted piece of lead that the children and guests then interpreted. Once the participants told the storytellers what they saw, the storytellers gave them a fortune.

“I really liked being able to get to experience the mine and getting to explore the place in a way that not many people get to,” sophomore industrial technology management major Kennaiah Rouse said.

Once tour-goers descended into the mine, they were led on a lantern-lit journey that allowed them to learn about the historical and paranormal events that have happened there. The ‘ghosts’ were put in place to scare the tour-goers, and once they were in the mine, they were told several ghost stories. The ‘ghosts’ hid inside ‘bear holes’ or small tunnels, where they jumped out to scare those on the tour.

“My favorite part was being able to scare people while I was down in the mine. I got to experience the atmosphere of the mine like the miners did, and that was really cool,” senior mechanical engineering major and Sigma Pi vice-president Mitch Dolak said.

Most of the mine was blacked-out except for small candles that lit the path. The ghost miners had pick axes and lanterns as they whispered “get out of my mine” as the tour groups passed by. 

“I was helping the mine be able to hold [the Haunted Mine tour] because they wouldn’t have been able to do it without the volunteers,” senior industrial technology management major Jack McCann said.

The last time this event was held was in 2016. This event was made possible in part by those who volunteered from Sigma Pi and the staff of The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museum. 

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Sigma Pi haunts the mine for halloween