It’s October — the time of year when thoughts naturally turn to the eerie, macabre, and hellish — or at least mine do!
This year I have a special treat for those of you who love the idea of an alternate world where the supernatural reigns supreme — Blood Moon University! I’ve been honored to interview Nikki McFarling, from whose fervent and colorful imagination this unhallowed institution was created. Blood Moon University is a combination online/physical campus where fans of occult thrills and chills can enroll as students and take courses with intriguing titles like Control Over Mortals, Eulogy Literature, and Cooking Meals for the Undead. BMU student life includes real-life events like meetups, the UnDead Prom, and live-action Murder Mysteries, as well as those items all students expect: a yearbook, library, arts center, theater, and even a dress code.
I highly recommend applying for admission before the process becomes too selective as this school’s popularity is only going to grow as the word gets out!
What made you decide to open Blood Moon University?
I originally came up with the idea for the UnDead Prom & Murder Mystery in July 2016. It was only a concept for a Halloween Party. After the first event in October 2016, I started thinking of creating the school that the UnDead Students who would attend the prom belonged to. I did a poll of a possible school name and Blood Moon University was the one selected.
I then bought the domain name and in December I hired a graphic design company to create a school crest. I had a solid idea in my head of something like a coat of arms and hellhounds on the sides of it. There were eight versions with changes made before the final school Crest was approved. I was very hands-on in the design process and had great communication with them. I also envisioned what the school would look like and hired someone through Fiverr to create it.
My friend, Rebecca Tennison, was my demon principle and offered to come on board as a co-owner after she saw how my event worked and saw all the positive feedback. She helped me with suggestions that I sent back to the designer. The final image is the one that I use on the school website of the building in a cemetery with the red moon in the background. The designer did a great job capturing the image in my head! From having those pieces in place, I started building the school website. Spent a little time every day adding features or changing parts that didn’t flow well. I visited college websites to get a feel of how a school site would work and navigate. I still have tons of things I want to add and expand on the site. My goal is to have it as a place that people could keep coming back to for new content.
But to answer the actual question. Nothing really made me decided to create Blood Moon University. It was something that evolved and became its own entity.
Who is Blood Moon University for?
The site is a mix of Live Action Role Play and immersive theatre. It brings the excitement of becoming someone else into a community of like minded people who love Halloween or the supernatural. I created it so that each person could bring their favorite myths about how their character was created without be limited to a set rule, such as how a vampire is made or a zombie created.
Is there both an online presence and a physical campus?
There is both an online presence and not an actual physical campus but different events. I recently created a Meetup Group for Los Angeles based individuals. Plus we have the annual UnDead Prom. My goal is to expand to have two additional annual events. One would be a Valentine’s themed event in February and the other in July as a school bazaar with vendors & UnDead games.
How many students currently attend?
The Meetup Group is really new and only has 16 UnDead Students currently in the Los Angeles area. The UnDead Student Newsletter is slowly growing and has nearly 200 subscribers. The Facebook page is the oldest social media site and has over 450 Likes.
What are the two most popular courses you offer?
I’d love to start holding Live courses as part of free events through the Meetup Group. The idea is to welcome guest UnDead Faculty to lead a Meetup with a variety of UnDead topics.
What’s your biggest event of the school year?
The UnDead Prom & Murder Mystery is currently the only true live event that Blood Moon University holds. So I’d say that’s the biggest since the Meetup events only average a handful of people and are not the big production that the UnDead Prom is.
What do you like best about what BMU offers?
I like how people get excited about the UnDead World that I created. I love how the sponsors support me in my vision and want to stay with me as my original idea expands. What the sponsors bring to Blood Moon University is what I like best about what the school offers. Without their partnerships I would not be able to have the features of a dessert bar, live band or photo booth at the UnDead Prom. The prizes for the UnDead King & Queen are all provided for by sponsors and either handmade or was personally autographed from the author.
What are your plans for BMU in the years to come?
My plans for Blood Moon University is to expanding to have the two additional events plus hold more UnDead Proms in other states. I also created the concept & story for an Escape Room based on being trapped in Professor Brain’s Lab and having one hour find find an Escape after having your memory wiped & turned into a human before Principal Lorde’ Desdemona comes to collect the humans as food. I want to build up the website more and include more original stories from inside the school along with original videos in the Tombstone Theatre.
Where can prospective students seek admission?
Admission to belong to Blood Moon University is free. There is a section on the school website in a newly added Admissions Section where prospective students can seek admission by subscribing to the UnDead Student Newsletter and completing a form to submit their UnDead character to be written into the site.
I’d like to thank Nikki for giving us some insight into the fascinating world of Blood Moon University. Make sure you celebrate October in true UnDead style with a trip to Blood Moon University.