10 Best College Traditions for Halloween


Halloween is just around the corner, and I’m sure you’re thinking about the best costume to dress in for that big Halloween party at your friend’s house.

Or maybe you’re trying to organize a party yourself.

Well, if you want ideas, you better learn from these colleges that celebrate Halloween in the most imaginative ways possible.

Have you ever been to a celebration where people howl at cemeteries?

Parade in costumes through several blocks?

Or maybe getting a tour through the scariest woods at night?

Find the best Halloween ideas from these colleges!

#1 – Ohio University: Athens Ohio Halloween Block Party

Many students agree that Ohio University, while not as sports-themed as Ohio State University, throws the best Halloween party in the country.

Ever year, Ohio University holds a Block Party, called Athens Ohio Halloween Block Party, which actually spans several blocks.

It is the biggest Halloween party, with 30,000 party goers dressed in every costume imaginable.

Because of so many people, the university spends close to $100,000 every year on safety and security measures as the number of visitors from outside the community are expected to increase.

The university has also taken to limiting the number of guests students can bring for the weekend (just one per student).

With such a big party, some students regularly decide not to go, so the university offers its own activities like movie showings and an open stage in the college’s café.

#2 – Southern Illinois University Carbondale: Unofficial Halloween Party

The Southern Illinois University state university system hosts the Unofficial Halloween party at Carbondale during October 17 and 18.

The celebration has been around since the 70s, with some parties witnessing arrests and violent incidents.

It starts early because the bars aren’t allowed to open on October 31 (after a riot broke out during a pre-Halloween party).

The party-goers dress up, drink, and party.

There are house parties around the block that offer far more liquor and crazy activities.

Because it’s on the streets and along houses, there have been several arrests due to some visitors throwing plastic bottles and rocks, breaking windows, and overturning cars.

#3 – University of North Carolina: Halloween on Franklin Street

This is a yearly tradition on Chapel Hill that began as early as the 80s, as a small celebration by the students at UNC.

The party-goers dress up in Halloween costumes and parade up and down Franklin Street on Halloween.

Visitors can range from 50,000 – 80,000 walking up and down the street in Halloween costumes.

Because there were so many people from out of town that visit every year, the town invests in security measures and ways to cut down the size of out-of-town visitors.

To limit the number of people on the streets, the university also hosts other activities at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

The Halloween parade, because of its immense size, prohibits alcohol, glass bottles, fireworks, animals, weapons (real and fake – even if it’s part of the costume), coolers, and paint.

#4 – University of Rochester: Scare Fair

The university of Rochester knows how to use its libraries – not just for studying, but for scaring the crap out of people.

The university has been hosting its Scare Fair at the main library, Rush Rhees for over eight decades.

The library is one big Haunted Mansion horror house, but the university takes it a step higher with a scavenger hunt.

The winners of the scavenger hunt get to do another scary thing after running around the library – they get to explore the Rush Rhees tower, which is usually restricted to students.

The view is great, since the tower overlooks the entire campus.

Food and drinks are free, and every student has fun with the parties all around the campus.

There are other activities for visitors and students alike.

Other students can also view spiders and snakes, borrowed from the Seneca Park Zoo, for the night.

The Scare Fair opens on October 28.

#5 – Texas A&M University: Wicked Woods Trail

Texas A&M University’s Kappa Sigma fraternity has been hosting the Wicked Woods Trail for over 20 years.

The idea is actually based on an old horror movie trope – college students taking a stroll along the woods, only to encounter a serial killer on the loose.

More than 4,000 – 6,000 people attend the Wicked Woods Trail event, as it’s one of the most exciting fundraising events in a college.

While walking through five acres of the creepy woods, participants witness scary tricks and surprises, before running for their lives when a costumed “killer” comes after them.

#6 – Georgetown University: Healy Howl


Georgetown University has one of the coolest (and creepiest) traditions during Halloween.

There are many movies set on a college campus, but did you know that some parts of the classic horror film The Exorcist were filmed in Georgetown University?

The college is using this fact to host a movie screening on Halloween.

It’s a rite of passage that is both exciting and hair-raising when you use the same staircase that was featured in the film!

The film showing ends at midnight on Halloween.

After the film, students go to the Jesuit cemetery near the Healy dorm to do the Healy Howl – where they literally howl at the moon for a full minute, before singing their Georgetown Fight Song.

#7 – MIT: Pumpkin Drop

The college that hosts the best science programs doesn’t let Halloween pass by with just a blink and a wave.

MIT hosts one of the Halloween activities that combines fun and physics.

The cool nerds at MIT go to the roof of the Green Building (a science building) on October 31.

There, they drop pumpkins off the edge.

It’s not just about littering on the pavement, though.

Before doing the drop, the participants must calculate how best to make the biggest smash. They test their theories by dropping the pumpkins.

Winners get bragging rights.

The Pumpkin Drop is sometimes innovated to include other calculations and experiments to make the activity more exciting.

#8 – SUNY Geneseo: Halloweekend

The State University of New York Geneseo campus doesn’t just host a single Halloween celebration – they host an entire weekend!

Many parties are hosted by frats, but the event starts with a hockey game, where students cheer their team in a Halloween costume.

Then, there is a street fair on Main Street, which includes a parade!

There are cider donuts (and drinks most likely), caramel apples, and candies.

After the parade, students go to Greek houses to enjoy more parties, with drinks, games, and Halloween costume contests.

#9 – Penn State: Pumpkin Festival

The Pennsylvania State University holds one of the most anticipated pumpkin festivals every year.

The best activities during the festival include participants bringing and carving their own pumpkins in whatever design they want.

There is also a display of jack-o’-lanterns. The activities are held at the college’s botanical garden at the Arboretum.

Penn State actually also hosts a Halloweekend, where dressing up is a huge event.

Penn State college students have been known to dress up as extras in Justin Bieber’s music movies, inanimate objects like loofahs, fruits, or vegetables, and even fraternities – that’s right, some frats dress up like other frats and get into fights.

There are also football games, which just makes the partying wilder and more fun.

#10 – Harvey Mudd College: Halloweiner


image source: admitster.com

Since many sports games also fall near Halloween, many colleges include their tailgating celebrations with their Halloween parties.

Harvey Mudd College does this by doing a large barbeque for the entire student body.

The food is free, with hundreds of pounds of meat cooked for the students.

So instead of trick-or-treat candies, Harvey Mudd College students get burgers and hotdogs.

The entire Halloweiner celebration is basically the tailgating season of this college.

You can expect coolers of beers, blue and red cups, and Halloween party costumes.

Rob Clark

SchoolCampus.org admin staff managing editor

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