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Meet the Splat Witch: BSU, NTC embrace new Halloween competition

]Glenda, the only “good” witch in this year’s Splat Witch competition, apparently met her demise when she flew straight into the Bemidji State University archway. This Splat Witch creation placed second in the BSU competition. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer1 / 2
The Splat Witch designed by Bemidji State University TRiO took third place in the university’s inaugural competition, designed to be a fun event for staff and students. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer2 / 2

BEMIDJI — Occasionally, when a witch isn’t paying close enough attention to what she’s doing or where she’s going, she flies too low and — splat! — goes right into a building or wraps herself around a stop sign.

Meet the Splat Witch, an unlucky witch who has met her demise in tragic, yet often comedic, circumstances.

A dozen such witches are now sprinkled throughout the Bemidji State University campus and 10 throughout Northwest Technical College, thanks to a new competition spearheaded by Caroline Norelius, BSU’s director of alumni relations.

"It’s a fun way to kick off the holiday season," Norelius said Tuesday from her office inside the alumni house, which offers a clear view of one such witch.

That witch, inspired by the "Wizard of Oz" and created by TRiO, met her fate by apparently bicycling right into the side of Sanford Hall. A nearby window display shows the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow while a message on another window echoed her familiar refrain, "I’ll get you, my pretty."

The witch display took third place in the competition, which was sponsored by the Alumni Association and BSU Dining Services.

"If we’ve gotten 15, we’ve received at least 25 comments from people, saying that fun stuff like this, little things like this, makes a big difference," Norelius said of BSU’s Splat Witch competition. "It’s a positive thing for the campus."

Norelius, who started working for BSU in May, said she’s introduced the Splat Witch project to all the colleges she has worked for in the last dozen years. At one college, there were so many submissions, around 46, that they had to create different divisions. In another city, the downtown partnered with the university to feature Splat Witches throughout all of the city.

At BSU this year, each department and student organization was invited to create a Splat Witch to compete for a first-place prize of $75 cash and a free pizza party. Second-place winners won $50 and third place $25.

One very visible witch — Glenda, the only "good" witch in this year’s competition — apparently flew straight into the archway outside of Deputy Hall, her face mashed up against the iron letters spelling out Bemidji State University.

That witch, designed by Student Development & Enrollment and the Chief Information Officer and Information Technologies, placed second.

Not far away, in and out of Deputy Hall, was the winning entry. A Splat Witch seemingly flew through a ground-level Deputy Hall window and got stuck. Her colored stockings and her feet are the only things visible from the outside of the building, but the inside is much more elaborate.

That winning entry, in Deputy 103, was designed and created by International Program Center.

"It was tough," said Norelius, one of three judges who scored the entries. "They were all very cute, very well done."

She said the competition has been well-received on campus and she hopes it continues to gain momentum and expand into the future.

"It’s a positive thing for the whole community," Norelius said.