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Thursday, Feb 9, 2023

Gothic Festival bringing a week of horror-themed activies to campus

Goodie bags that will be handed out to attendees of the Gothic Fest on the final day of the event. Photo provided by Clara Mengolini.
Goodie bags that will be handed out to attendees of the Gothic Fest on the final day of the event. Photo provided by Clara Mengolini.

Mercer University will be hosting its very first Gothic Festival, an event honoring all things gothic and horror-themed, from Oct. 27 to Oct. 31 in the Connell Student Center.

All lovers of horror are invited to enjoy snacks, games and a different activity planned each night. The festival will last for a week leading up to Halloween.

Clara Mengolini, a professor in the Foreign Language and Literature department, first got the idea to create the Gothic Festival when she saw a poster advertising professor Marc Jolley’s course “Hauntology: Philosophy and Literature of Gothic Horror Fiction."

“I knew he was a colleague, so when I saw this class, I wrote him an email and said, ‘Hey Mark, I saw the flyer, nice class,’” Mengolini said.

Mengolini is interested in Latin American fantastical literature with horror and gothic elements and soon came up with the idea to collaborate with Jolley to create a week-long festival with gothic-themed events.

The team later expanded to include three additional professors who are all interested in horror: Jonathan Glance from the English department, Thomas Bullington from the integrative studies department and Kevin Cummings from the theatre department. 

Glance is interested in gothic horror literature, especially Frankenstein. Bullington teaches gothic texts every semester, and Cummings is interested in monsters. 

Scheduled festivities include an interactive panel of scholars, a movie and discussion led by Glance and a game of Dungeons & Dragons courtesy of Cummings and Bullington. Students can also participate in art, cinema and literary exhibitions and contests as well as a costume contest. There will also be a variety of student-led performances at the festival that have yet to be announced. 

Mengolini hopes that the festival can continue into the future.

“The idea is to make this a tradition for every year, and maybe next year we can choose a different angle,” Mengolini said. “There are so many things we can do with this subject, that's why I’m excited about making it a tradition.”

Any student can submit their own gothic and horror-themed works of poetry, art, literature, photography or short film to by Oct. 27 to enter the contest and exhibition. 

The exhibition will be Oct. 30, when Mengolini will choose first, second and third block winners and give out prizes. Students are encouraged to dress as their favorite gothic-themed characters and participate in the costume contest and showcase held Oct. 31.


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