The Hidden “Ghosts” in the Roots of Knowledge

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Everyone loves hearing stories, and more importantly, we know our history through stories. At UVU, Roots of Knowledge specialists Trevor Petersen and Nick Lawyer hosted ghost tours, telling the stories of ghosts every Tuesday night in October. These ghost tours started every 30 minutes, from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Roots of Knowledge Gallery.

At the beginning of the tour, Trevor Petersen introduced the origins of Halloween, explaining the Christian influence on Halloween, where the terms “Halloween”and “Jack o’lantern”came from, why we still celebrate Halloween and how the traditions of Halloween have changed.

Nick Lawyer discussed one of the most famous creatures of Halloween lore, the werewolf. He went over the folklore of werewolves in Ireland and Peter Stumpp’s werewolf trial and execution in Germany. The two hosts took turns telling the stories of Frankenstein and Dracula and where the authors got their inspiration from. After that, they talked about Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King.

William Chavez, a junior majoring in Exercise Science at UVU, came to the ghost tour with his partner, Sydney Chavez. She said, “We like scary stories, so it would be cool to see historical scary stories.”

The intention of this event was for Lawyer and Petersen to share their passion for teaching history. In the Roots of Knowledge windows, Lawyer and Petersen carefully selected what images should be included. Petersen said, “[Nick and I] have a lot of fun designing [the Roots of Knowledge], there are little things in these windows that tell a bigger story, everything in these windows has a story behind it.” The more you know about history, the easier you can find these little images and know what they represent.

Lawyer said, “We wanted to incorporate the windows [of Roots of Knowledge] for all kinds of teaching purposes. [We wanted to make] a kind of a night for the community and for families to come and learn things from history in an interesting way.”

If you missed the ghost tours this month, there will be more events coming up. Lawyer said, “We’re going to try to have an event every month that has to do with the windows.”

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