Ladies and gentlemen, boys and ghouls, after Halloween at Yale, every other holiday will pale in comparison. On the 31st, anything goes, and the night is absolute madness. Picture hoards of costumed, wasted Yalies drifting from place to place on a magical mystery tour. Roll up, roll up for the mystery tour.

Lest you wonder about the actual itinerary of this tour — naturally, you don’t want to miss any crucial stops — here is a brief guide to what to wear, where to go and how to damage your liver. Follow suggestions at your own risk.


After 20 or so years of being thoughtful and considerate, dressing appropriately and generally achieving excellence, don’t you deserve a break? The key to losing your loser self on Halloween is, of course, your costume. As a rule of thumb, a Yalie’s costume reflects the true, shameful inner nature that he or she tries really hard to hide the other 364 days of the year. For women, this usually translates to wearing something skimpy, tight and ho-like. Pretty much any idea for a costume can be, and is, ho-ified. For guys, a good number of macho jock types will cross dress or go cutesy — a lineman I know was one a big-ass bumblebee last year, while another football player expressed his inner cuteness as a disturbing 250-pound Pikachu. Scrawnier guys will show up as gladiators or superheroes — aww, so cute. Only a minority of students actually aims to frighten with their costumes. The scariest I ever saw was Maia Jasper ’03, who dressed up as baby corn. (I had nightmares for weeks. Thanks a lot, Maia.) Some colleges have costume contests in their dining halls, which are always ridiculously amusing, so keep an eye out for one in yours.

Whatever you wear, make sure that your vision is unobstructed and you can move freely. You will need all the help you can get when navigating the chaos of the evening, particularly after–


For liquor treating, certain rooms in most colleges offer a novelty shot or drink early in the evening, usually starting around 9 p.m. Participants go from room to room, sampling ice luge shots, Jell-O shots and creative, savory concoctions like the apple pie shot (lick cinnamon off your hand, shoot a potent cider mix, and get whipped cream sprayed in your mouth to top the whole thing off). These treats all work towards the inevitable goal of becoming very, very wasted, at which point you will grab your friends and stumble off to–


This Pierson College dance rivals Exotic Erotic in its craziness and fun — well, almost. Still, inhibitions are definitely checked at the door, and Pierson student activities committee does a great job with decorations. The best part of the decor, though, is the crowd. The Inferno is the place to see and be seen, check out everyone’s costumes, and laugh at all the drunken foolery (or be laughed at, for that matter). The actual dance is like a weird dream, where you can see that quiet girl from your econ section wearing devil horns and grinding with a wookie, and you keep getting harassed by a poor man’s Britney Spears. The party is also notorious for drunken dance floor hookups — further details not necessary. It’s a blast, and at this point you will realize a unique feature of Halloween — those Yalies who don’t usually go out and party (you know exactly who I’m talking about) are out in huge numbers.

But wait, there’s more. This year, according to Pierson student activities committee chairman Marc Silverman ’03, the theme of the Inferno is “Evil Circus.” I guess they’re not clowning around! (I can’t help it, I’m a punny girl!)

Of course, if the dance doesn’t sound like your thing (or your therapist recommends you avoid confronting your severe clown-phobia), you could also hit up–


The Yale Anti-Gravity Society will be lighting up Beinecke Plaza with my boy Ross Eaton ’03’s hot bod and, oh yeah, some juggling, featuring a lot of random flaming stuff. The show starts at 9:45 p.m., and is conveniently located just outside Woolsey Hall, the location of the traditional last stop of the night–


By this point in the evening, all the Yalies who have been speeding around in varying states of inebriation for the last few hours are ready for a much needed break. Hence, the midnight convergence of the whole campus to Woolsey Hall for the student-made Halloween movie with orchestral accompaniment is a welcome diversion. The place very quickly gives way to utter carnage — people scream and boot, people hang from the balconies and boot off them, people fall on top of random strangers and boot on them — you get the idea.

In past years, the movie has ranged from mediocre to pretty hysterical. In any case, you’re drunk, so it’s better than “The Matrix.” First off, the orchestra goes nuts. These people have no shame. The actual film almost always combines a cute movie spoof, a few good chase scenes, cameos by Yale professors and administrators, and the requisite poke at Harvard. Last year, one of the main characters wore a red leather catsuit a-la-Britney Spears. I was so drunk that watching her run around the screen made me nauseous. I then had a couple of conversations with people that I later did not remember having seen and dodged projectile puke for a bit before wandering off into the night.

The next morning, I got to experience the biggest miracle of Halloween at Yale — somehow waking up in my own bed, safe and sound. I wondered, Group IV style, what parts of the past evening were Halloween fiction or Halloween fact. For the rest of the day, everybody exchanged uneasy glances. Had any of it even happened at all, or had we supernaturally skipped over Oct. 31? Was that a wolf howling in the background or just the persistent whining of our ferocious hangover headaches? A voice mail from a gibberish-speaking goblin, or a drunken booty call missed and unwittingly denied? Well, we thought to ourselves, there’s always next year–