While you should definitely base your college decisions on how well they fit you, your goals, your major, and your budget, it doesn't hurt to look into the more fun aspects of individual campuses too! Every university has its own traditions and events throughout the year, including some sweet parties as autumn rolls in. Here are some of the biggest college Halloween events that can be found around the U.S.
Pennsylvania State University: Pumpkin Festival
Every year Penn State hosts an incredible festival. With over 1,000 pumpkins and plenty of food, this two- day event is sure to be a hit for everyone (family included!). From carved pumpkins to painted ones, you can hardly turn a corner without running into enough pumpkins to satisfy even the most basic of us (#PSL anyone?).
This festival is for everyone, with live music, fun spectator events, and family friendly activities. (Oh, and did I mention the MASSIVE pumpkin contest? That's right. Those pumpkins aren't just for show. They're part of the single biggest gourd contest you've never laid eyes on.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Pumpkin Drop
Pennsylvania State doesn't have a monopoly on pumpkin-related festivities: At MIT, Halloween meets science in a big (and rather messy) way.
Once a year, over a dozen large pumpkins are dropped from nearly 300 feet in the air, splattering the feet of the spectators below with what I like to call "partially reconstructed pie filling." A select few students are selected to participate in this drop, and they're required to calculate the best conditions in which to create a massive *splash*.
To add to the fun, many of the spectators come in full costume!
Georgetown University: The Exorcist and the Healy Howl
Any old college campus is sure to have a few rumored hauntings. But only one can claim to have been a set for the autumn classic - The Exorcist. With that cool addition to an already rich history, it's no wonder they have a mass viewing of the film every year, with everyone from administration downward attending.
But their tradition doesn't stop there. After the movie ends everyone heads to the nearby cemetery to howl at the moon when the clock strikes midnight. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be wandering nearby when that goes down. Spooky.
Pierce College: Halloween Harvest Festival
Okay, maybe I shouldn't have included this one (as it's no longer active), but it was incredible, so I wouldn't have felt right not sharing this sweet tradition with all of you.
This festival had it all. No joke. From a five-acre corn maze to a 10,000 square foot haunted house. Not to mention the hay rides, jack-o-lanterns, two-acre haunted trail, climbing wall, and like a million other attractions! I'm so bummed that this awesome festival is no longer available to us, but who knows? Maybe they'll bring it back soon!
Oregon Health and Science University: All-Hill Halloween
Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) puts on a super fun Halloween party for Portland locals every year, and it attracts a pretty big crowd. It's a massive costume contest with food and drinks (they spell it "boos"!)
University of Rochester: Scare Fair
If you've ever woken up and said to yourself "boy, are librarians a boring bunch," (looking at you Leslie Knope), this is the event that will change your mind. Held at the university's Rush Rhees Library, this fair boasts scavenger hunts, tours, and plenty of games to keep you busy all evening!
Even if you won’t be attending one of these awesome gatherings, I hope that reading this has gotten you excited for the scariest holiday of the year.
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