Virginia Tech has a unique group of people who are determined to add a little bit of mystery to our Blacksburg campus. 

Because it’s a mystery, we know very little about the group and who its members are. However, we do know that the student-run organization puts together monthly puzzles, the Haunt in October, and the most well-known VT Hunt in the spring. 

The VT Hunt, and its spookier counterpart, the Haunt, is an annual puzzle hunt. The goals of the game are to bring people to the Blacksburg campus to search for the unusual and add a fantastical element to students’ everyday lives. The VT Hunt starts in April and goes on for about a month. The Haunt is a much shorter puzzle, usually one to two weeks before Halloween.

To begin, you can start as a team or as an individual. The maximum number of team members is 10. You do not have to be a part of a team, but it is recommended. In the spring of 2022, 1,500 people started the VT Hunt but only 150 finished, organizers said.

Students are encouraged to donate to a cause of their choice before starting. In 2022, the VT Hunt raised $5,000 for organizations such as Direct Relief for Ukraine and New River Valley Community Action, which helps low-income families in the area, organizers said.

Commencement caps
The VT Hunt symbol - a diamond followed by an “H” followed by another diamond - may or may not be in this sea of commencement caps from the 2023 University Ceremony in May. Photo by Luke Hayes for Virginia Tech

The competition was started in 2018 by one student who wanted to transform campus into an immersive, fantasy spot. He took inspiration from Cicada 3301, a set of three puzzles posted online from 2012-14.  

The Haunt is now underway. If you missed the beginning of the Haunt, there is still time to complete it. This is also the first year that there will be monthly puzzles to be solved around campus to keep students engaged and venturing to different spots on campus.

If you see the VT Hunt symbol on campus — it’s a diamond followed by an “H” followed by another diamond — it might be something to take a closer look at. 

Sign-ups and more information can be found on the group’s website, and hints are given out on its page as well.

Written by Caroline Reed, a senior and a student writer for Virginia Tech Communications and Marketing

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