Boo-la Boo-la: Halloween at Yale

Halloween generates celebrations throughout the U.S., and Yale is no different. Find out what the Blog Team did on their Halloween!

Stephanie: Jonathan Edwards College is the best residential college. This is proven every year on Halloween. We get a special dinner (only for us!!!) and everyone is dressed up in costume for the costume party, judged by the Fellows of JE. It’s amazing to celebrate this holiday with family - even if they don’t quite look like themselves.

Tobias: This Halloween, I decided to take a trip to the Yale Medical School Library. Not to study, but to check out the Cushing Center. In the basement of the medical library is a little-known secret, a room full of preserved brains in jars. Spooky, right?

A chocolate cake for Halloween, with a jack-o-lantern and cobwebs drawn in icing.

Arizona: The night of Halloween, I received a frantic text from my suite mate in YSO: “Please tell me you still have your Mario costume! I know somebody who needs to borrow it. A very important somebody.” Though she refused to divulge the “important somebody”, I lent her the costume and forgot about it… Until the stroke of midnight, as I’m was sitting in the second balcony of Woolsey watching YSO members flood the stage donned in their costumes. The last out was of course the associate conductor…behold! In MY Mario costume!

YSO members on the Woolsey Hall stage.

Alex: Halloween is always quite the event at Yale, and this year was no exception. My roommate’s mother considers Halloween to be a holiday among holidays and sent us plenty of material to celebrate. We decked out our room in cobwebs, plastic pumpkins and “Happy Halloween” banners. She also sent us a huge box of Halloween candy that was eaten quicker than I’d like to admit. For Halloween proper, we had several friends over for a Halloween themed party in our room and then went out to the Yale Symphony Orchestra’s Halloween Show. A uniquely Yale tradition, everyone packs Woolsey Hall (in costume of course) for an event unlike any other. This year’s silent film was a Yale-themed parody of the Wizard of Oz, with the YSO playing an original compilation of music underscoring the film.

Yalies in Halloween costumes.

Noam: On Halloween, I went to Salem. Not literally. I directed a production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible featuring a cast of 24 actors. The Crucible explores the paranoia and chaos of the 1962 Salem Witch trials and the similar sensation of fear that resurfaced during the Communist Red Scare of the 1950s. Our production was staged in the round with the audience sitting all around the stage and the actors sitting among the audience. We didn’t use theater lighting or digital sound effects. Instead, the actors used flashlights to light themselves and instruments to create all of the sounds. When the girls of Salem started to cry out our audience as witches, everyone was at the edge of their seats. Who knew Arthur Miller could provide such a night of haunting Halloween entertainment!

Jinchen: My Halloween started a couple weeks ago when my suitemates and I completely decked out our suite’s common room in preparation for the festive holiday. Streamers, posters, and lights were put up and Halloween themed music was added to our playlist. Last night, I went to a showing of the play Crucible by Arthur Miller. A friend of mine played the role of Giles Corey and invited us along. Having read the Crucible back in high school, it was amazing to watch the actors bringing the characters to life, and a production directed by Noam. It was such a fitting play for a Halloween night.

A very dark scene from "The Crucible".

Kathy: I spent Halloween with the other freshmen counselors (frocos) in Ezra Stiles. We stayed in, made pancakes and served pizza for the freshmen in our residential college, and played scary movies all night. The frocos were dressed as the Pink Ladies and T-birds in the movie Grease. It was a fun night to stay in!

Mikaela: On Halloween, I was so happy to finally teach my first class for Hemispheres. Hemispheres is a community service program, where we teach New Haven high schoolers about Global Affairs. After much planning during this week, I was so excited for the actual class. The Halloween spirit was definitely eminent; two other teachers and I even dressed up as cowboys for the class. It was an absolute blast! Dave: For Halloween, I did not have a costume. But, I did have a vest, a bow tie, a wand and a bedazzled top hat. This plus a pair of black jeans, and I became “Black Magic.” … Improvisation is a must for the lazy Halloween goer.

Abdul: This Halloween I had the chance to have two very awesome (and inexpensive) costumes for Yale’s Halloween festivities. In Timothy Dwight College, we have an annual Halloween costume contest where people come into the dining hall with their best costumes to show off. When my friend Mitzi told me she was planning on wearing a Charmander onesie and knew I had a Poké Ball in my room, it was clear what our contest submission would be. As a talented Pokémon trainer with his trusty Charmander, we won the award for most animated costumes since I decided to throw my Poké Ball and “catch” her. After the contest I went to Commons for President Salovey’s annual Halloween party, where I performed a few songs with Shades for a lot of costumed Yalies. With 18 of us, we had a range of costumes, but the best group out of all of us was the superhero group. I dressed up as Static Shock, with flying disk, lightning bolts and all, and sang to a group of people that looked just as ridiculous as I did. I can easily say two costumes is better than one and I had great events to wear both of them at and friends to wear them with.

So, that’s it. One Halloween, nine different stories… We can’t wait until next year.