Mass.— This Halloween, the eerie theme of the Addams Family will ring out over a darkened Wellesley College campus. This and other terrifying tunes will emanate from Galen Stone Tower, which stands 182 feet tall, and the students who play the carillon within.
“When you climb the tower at night, every shadow seems to come to life, and the lamps almost seem to flicker like candles,” said senior Amy Allport, a member of the Wellesley College Guild of Carillonneurs. “It is at once magical and terrifying.”
The guild is opening the tower to the brave-hearted who can scale the spine-chilling stairs to the carillon, encountering skeletons, spiders, ghosts and cobwebs on the climb, during a Halloween Haunted Tower, Saturday, Oct. 31, from 5-7 pm. Visitors should enter Green Hall from the academic quad, and follow the signs up to the tower.
Scenes from a past
Haunted Tower Photos by Jane Bendfeldt '08
Student carillonneurs will hand out treats and play Halloween favorites such as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the theme from Harry Potter.
The carillon is the largest instrument in the world—and possibly the least recognized. There are fewer than 200 in North America. The Wellesley carillon has 32 bells made of solid bronze, ranging in weight from 80 to 1,600 pounds. The largest bell is more than four feet tall and about three feet in diameter. The bells are operated by a series of levers that control the clapper inside the bell.
While the massive bells evoke the pomp and circumstance of an ancient tradition, student carillonneurs often feature oddball tunes and personal favorites to keep the tradition current. The Guild of Carillonneurs is one of the most active groups on campus, playing two to three concerts per week. The guild also performs for events such as commencement and baccalaureate ceremonies. Last year, Wellesley students played more than 100 carillon concerts, amounting to more than 1,000 minutes of ringing these magical, majestic – and at Halloween, very creepy — bells.
To read more about the Wellesley carillonneurs, click here.
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries.