Husky Haunt is coming: Here’s how NU students are preparing


Photo courtesy Husky Haunt Committee

The 50 teams who qualified for the Hunt will compete Nov. 19 in the 24-hour event.

Kathryn Manning, news correspondent

On Nov. 19 and 20, teams of 12 Northeastern students will participate in the Resident Student Association’s Husky Hunt, a 24-hour scavenger hunt around Boston. 

In 2020, the Hunt was moved to the spring semester and teams competed virtually in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the “Husky Haunt” returns to Northeastern in person with a Halloween theme and up to 50 teams competing to win prizes, such as iPads or Beats headphones. 

For many teams, the Hunt is a time-honored tradition among friends. The News spoke with three members of the Spooky Scary Snellertons, who have been friends for the past four years, to understand what exactly the Hunt means to them. 

James Zamartis, a fifth-year environmental engineering major, explained the Hunt was a natural progression from their previous extracurricular involvement. 

“[The team members] are all in the club ‘Survivor Northeastern,’ so we got a sense of how competitive we all are, and how we all love out-of-the-box problem solving. It helped us figure out what our strengths were,” Zamartis said. 

The Hunt began with around 150 teams, who took part in a quiz on Oct. 22 and 23 to narrow down the competition to 50 teams competing in the final scavenger hunt. Team members worked together to solve logic puzzles and riddles before the time ran out. 

For Levi Kaplan, a fourth-year computer science major who is also a member of the Spooky Scary Snellertons, the first round is his favorite part of the Hunt. 

“I really like the puzzles. It’s always really difficult and when you get a question right, it’s really satisfying. There were many times during the quiz round where I yelled in triumph,” Kaplan said.

Others, like the members of the Dance Dance team, saw the quiz round as a way to develop as a team and test their strengths and weaknesses in real time. For Victoria Su, a second-year psychology major, taking the quiz with her teammates was eye-opening.

“It was really interesting to have people with different backgrounds work on the quiz and to see how we all thought about it differently,” Su said. “Sometimes when we were debating on the answers the correct answer would just pop out, and it was really cool to see.”

However, for some teams like NEUKFC, the quiz round was the end of their Husky Haunt experience. Team member Brant Barbera-Hwang, a second-year environmental engineering major, explained his team’s difficulties while taking the quiz. 

“Going into the quiz, you don’t know how many questions you’re going to be getting so you don’t really know how to manage your time. You kind of have to go through all of them fast,” Barbera-Hwang said. 

Next year, he hopes to study logic puzzles before the quiz to progress to the final round.

On the day of the event, teams will compete in a number of unique challenges around Boston. Vish Swami, a fourth-year bioengineering major and member of the planning committee for Husky Hunt, explained what the scavenger hunt might look like this year. Swami said teams will receive a notification for a challenge every 30 minutes throughout the 24 hours, and must run to an assigned location to compete. 

Northeastern students can expect to see challenges around campus throughout the Hunt. Traditionally, competitors gather on Krentzman Quad at 7 a.m. for a halfway challenge, though this is not confirmed to occur this year. 

“There are things in this year’s hunt that we’ve never done before, so I think the teams will have a pretty good time,” Swami said. 

Teams have begun preparations for the event and said they are excited to take on the competition. The Spooky Scary Snellertons are competing as the reigning champions from last year’s spring competition and are looking to become two-time winners.

No matter how fierce the competition, however, participants remain lighthearted. Andy Brady, a fifth-year health science major and member of the Spooky Scary Snellertons, said he is looking forward to the Hunt. 

“I can’t wait to be biking through Dorchester at 3 a.m.,” Brady said. “Last year, I had a moment where I was doing that exact thing and my teammate was yelling all these locations at me, and I just had a moment where I was like ‘What am I doing?’” 

Dance Dance is creating a game plan in preparation for the big day. Quynh-An Vo, a second-year business administration and communications combined major, noted that her training consists of familiarizing herself with her bike and the MBTA system, the primary methods of transportation throughout the Hunt. But second-year computer science major Maxwell Pirtle is preparing himself in different ways.

“I’m super excited for the real Husky Hunt and fully expect to not sleep that night,” Pirtle said. “My only preparation is mental: Am I ready to be running around Boston in freezing cold weather solving puzzles? Heck yeah.”