How Divers Around the World Are Celebrating Halloween
Divers can see what is left of a flooded town and cemetery in Lake Jocassee, South Carolina.
A Graveyard Smash
A graveyard is found 150 feet below the surface.
Who doesn’t love a good ghost story especially around Halloween? But have you ever done a ghost tour underwater? Every year we visit the old Mt. Carmel Cemetery which sits at the bottom of Lake Jocassee between 130 and 150 feet. Before the valley was flooded, a short road led from the cemetery to the church. As you descend, you feel as though you are going back in time–swimming down a road that so many have walked before you. Now, all that remains is the foundation of the church and a few headstones that mark the final resting place of those who were left behind as the valley flooded and became Lake Jocassee. Fun trivia, this graveyard was featured in the movie “Deliverance,” before they flooded the valley.
Of course, Halloween is not all about being spooky. We also carve pumpkins underwater, bob for apples and host a cook out every year to celebrate the end of summer and enjoy time with dive buddies and friends. As the leaves fall from the mountains around us, I can’t think of a better place to be.
—Amanda Baker, Lake Jocassee, South Carolina
Spooky Video With Friends
Halloween and diving are my two favorite things, so I really wanted to combine them. My friends and I in Kauai gathered some costumes and gear, and hung out at our local shore dive at sunset for a fun Halloween-themed photo shoot. The shoot was completely impromptu; we were just making everything from the props we had. I definitely recommend doing something like this with your friends, as long as you do it safely, be mindful of the wildlife and leave no trace behind. Everything was shot on the GoPro Hero 12. This was the most fun shoot I’ve had underwater!
—Lucy Grigorian, Kauai, Hawaii
Divers participate in an underwater pumpkin carving competition
Halloween Fun and Prizes
Fish deserve a spooky Halloween, too, so local South Florida divers gear up for a two-tank dive in Pompano Beach. Force-E Scuba Centers hosts Halloween-themed dives throughout the spooky season. We hold an annual underwater costume contest on the first dive which takes place on a “haunted wreck,” complete with a skeleton for photo opportunities. It is so fun to watch what creative costumes people wear for the dive. We have had the boat dressed as ‘80s rockstars, a group of skeletons and this year, we dressed as Disney villains. On the second dive, we have an underwater pumpkin-carving contest. Winners receive a free boat pass to come dive again and a $50 gift card to our store. Finally, coinciding with an infamous Blue Heron Bridge night dive, we host another Halloween contest: A photo pro takes your image, posts it to Facebook and the most-liked images have the chance to win prizes, with the best being a fill card for 10 tanks!
—Nikole Heath, Pompano Beach, Florida
Club members pose before a spooky dive.
Club Trick or Treating
I am a proud member of the SDT Svet Ronjenja club, based in Belgrade. As the season winds down and autumn sets in, we enjoy exploring unconventional diving locations. We ventured to the picturesque Karas River, situated on the border between Serbia and Romania. Our entry point into the water was at a friend's place, where we stumbled upon some intriguing dolls. We creatively incorporated them into a memorable Halloween party, adding a touch of spookiness to our underwater experience.The house near the river provided a cozy haven from the cool water, where we celebrated with a small party, complete with homemade brandy.
—Nikola Doder, Belgrade, Serbia
Related Reading: What it’s Like to Play Scuba Poker
This diver found a date for their Halloween dive.
Pumpkins for a Cause
Open to divers and open-water swimmers, the Edmonds Underwater Park stewards host an annual pumpkin carving event and scavenger hunt for the Great Pumpkin Festival. Divers bring their own pumpkins and find a sandy spot near the jetty. There is also a scavenger hunt for the Great Pumpkin. Kids from Annie Crawley’s Dive Team, a group of teens that are PADI AmbassaDivers, serve as the pumpkin judges. Prizes are sponsored by our local dive shop, Underwater Sports.There is a suggested donation of $10 or more, and all proceeds go to maintaining the underwater dive site. We are volunteer-led by the infamous Bruce Higgins. Together with volunteers, Bruce maintains the underwater trails of Edmonds Underwater Park, a marine protected area in the Pacific Northwest.
—Annie Crawley, Edmonds, Washington
The murky visibility helps add to the spooky feeling of Halloween diving.
Try Not to Stay Afloat
In December 2022, we opened a new dive center and have since launched an annual underwater pumpkin-carving contest.The thing that makes the carving a bit challenging is that the pumpkin floats, so we have to carve the lid in a way the keeps it from floating and put some stones inside when we take the pictures. We take out the pulp and seeds in advance so it will not be so much waste, and we put the carved-out parts in a net to bring up after the dive.Then we take it with us home and put it on the porch.
—June Lindvik, Austevoll, Norway
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