What’s not to love about Halloween? Candy, costumes, parties, slasher films, scary stories and haunted houses: It’s the best time of year for many. But things will be a bit different for your kid now that they’re away at college. Some childhood traditions—like dressing up—will probably last through college, while others will just fade away like an apparition.
Once kids attend college, Halloween takes on a whole new life. You can bet there’ll be a bunch of university-sponsored, Halloween-themed activities for your child to choose from, but many times, the big fun comes from attending the big events—those that have become traditions on their college campus.
The YCK staff had a ghoulish good time gathering our top 8 College Halloween traditions, and we hope you’ll find our list as entertaining as we did:
Top 8 College Halloween Traditions
- Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.—Healy Howl. Did you know parts of The Exorcist were filmed on this campus? Neither did we. Students gather on the lawn to watch the film every College Halloween, head to the cemetery near Healy Hall and howl at the moon when the clock strikes midnight. Awwwwooooo!
- Ohio University, Athens, OH—Ohio Halloween Block Party. This haunted celebration usually starts at 7p.m. on the Saturday closest to Halloween, and the entire town of Athens just about shuts down for it. Lines are long but these students don’t mind waiting in their costumes.
- Carleton College, Northfield, MN—Halloween Concert. Imagine an entire orchestra, conductor included, dressed in costume, doing what they do best: putting on a concert. And the audience gets to take part in a best college Halloween costume contest of their own after the show.
- Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA—Halloweiner. It’s part kick-off party, part campus feast. Every year, students barbecue hundreds of pounds of meat to start the college’s Halloween activities off right.
- UCLA, Los Angeles, CA—All Hill Halloween. Students take part in a little role reversal here: Now they’re the ones handing out the candy. 2,500+ kids are invited to trick-or-treat safely from dorm room to dorm room, instead of house to house, every college Halloween.
- MIT, Cambridge, MA—Pumpkin Drop. Forget fireworks! MIT students gather to watch their friends and classmates launch pumpkins off the tallest building in Cambridge. Oh, and these pumpkins are frozen—so they explode better.
- Brown University, Providence, RI—Midnight Organ Recital. Kids dress in costume and don sleeping bags for this highly anticipated concert in Sayles Hall every year. They often camp out hours in advance and spend the evening listening to death-themed music on the world’s biggest remaining Hutchings-Votey organ.
- UCONN, Storrs, CT—Night of the Living Cardboard Canoe Race. On the Thursday before Halloween, student teams dress up and compete in the ultimate test of creepy creativity: make a cardboard canoe that both chills and thrills.
Prizes include: best vessel design, coolest Halloween costumes and most memorable capsize.
Did your son or daughter’s school make our list?
Are there any Halloween traditions you’ve heard about that you’d add to our list? We’d love to hear about them!