No matter how old you are, Halloween is always one of the best holidays of the year (in my opinion, anyway!). Remember how when we were younger, our elementary schools would be filled with all kinds of Halloween decorations? The holiday was a big deal during our early years, and some colleges see Halloween as a pretty big deal too. In fact, some colleges uphold pretty wacky Halloween traditions, and they encourage their students to take part in them each year.
Thought your school was spirited? Check out these five colleges with the craziest Halloween traditions!
Every Halloween, UNC Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street fills up with thousands of locals and visitors. Since the early 80’s, people from the town of Chapel Hill and other surrounding cities spend their Halloween on the street, showing off their costumes and taking part in the holiday festivities. The event became so popular that it earned its own Wikipedia page; according to the page, in three years, the relatively small city of Chapel Hill (~ 50,000 residents) has seen 80,000 visitors for the Homegrown Halloween event!
Ever heard of The Exorcist? William Peter Blatty - writer/director of this famed horror movie- is an alumnus of Georgetown University, and actually filmed some of “The Exorcist’s” scenes on school grounds. Rather than feel creeped out by this information, students at Georgetown like to hold a Halloween celebration honoring the movie’s legacy called “The Healy Howl.” Every Halloween at midnight, students will walk to the Jesuit cemetery and let out howls for one minute. The cemetery is located near the school’s Healy Hall, hence the celebration’s name.
3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Pumpkin Drop
When you think MIT, you may not think “crazy, fun, Halloween tradition,” right? Well, when these students aren’t hitting the books, they like to spend their time dropping pumpkins off of one of their research buildings. Around Halloween, participating students gather on top of the Green Building (which is a staggering 295 feet high), and drop their pumpkins. Of course, it is MIT, so there has to be some science and math involved; the students design calculations to see whose pumpkins will make the biggest impact when it crash-lands.
4. Texas A&M University: Wicked Woods Trail
For over twenty years, the Kappa Sigma fraternity at Texas A&M University has been hosting the Wicked Woods Trail on the days leading up to Halloween. The Wicked Woods Trail is based on the horror story idea of students walking in the woods at night and encountering a serial killer. As one of the largest haunted trails in Texas (everything’s bigger in Texas, right?), the Wicked Woods Trail attracts thousands of visitors each year. It’s not all fun and games, though; the fraternity uses the funds and food donations from visitors to raise money for charities, like the Military Heroes Campaign.
In mid-October, students and faculty at Penn State hold their annual pumpkin festival. The festivities begin with a pumpkin giveaway, then a couple days later, the pumpkins return carved and ready to be judged at the festival. The festival is open to anyone, from students to families, and provides food, music, and entertainment. The pumpkin carving contest is also open to people of all ages, and the prize for the first 100 participants is a free ice cream cone. Free pumpkins, free ice cream; what’s better than that?