Long-gone are the wholesome days of bumblebee costumes, pumpkin carving and candy corn. Enter collegiate Halloween, where candy has given way to alcohol, costumes are governed by a “less is more” approach and the most festive decoration encountered is inevitably a Smirnoff wrapper. This weekend, students will abandon childhood Halloween tradition in favor of a 4-day-long chance to prove, yet again, what Yalies do best — party.
Beginning Thursday the 27th with Silliman’s fifth-annual haunted house, the weekend is destined to be filled with Halloween events, including the senior Masquerade Ball and the Delta Kappa Epsilon Mortician’s Ball, culminating Monday with a college-wide night of carousing and liquor-treating. Like Halloween at Yale in years past, the weekend before is rowdy, licentious and severely lacking in candy.
Friday’s main event is reserved for the seniors. As one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, the Senior Masquerade Ball is the weekend highlight of most seniors. This year, the dance, which includes and open bar and costume competition, will take place at Oracle.
“The Ball is a great senior tradition,” said Erin Dress ’06. “We get to see people we don’t usually see enjoying our senior year.”
For most work-conscience Yalies wary of weekday debauchery, Saturday night will fulfill all needs for Halloween revelry. Although the majority of organized liquor-treating — an adulterated take on childhood trick-or-treating — will take place Monday night, costume parties, dances and sporadic cultural events prove Saturday as the most eventful night of Halloween.
Yet, according to Mona Elsayed ’08, most Yalies will ultimately make an appearance at the DKE Mortician’s Ball, an annual frat party with a costume twist.
“Saturday’s my Halloween, so I’ll probably end up at DKE,” she said. “They only throw parties a few times a year, but when they do, it’s solid.”
After Sunday’s banal offerings comes the main event — Monday.
Packed with Halloween ghastliness and benign devilry, Monday night is the peak of the weekend’s events, including the two most popular Yale Halloween shows, the Yale Symphony Orchestra Halloween show and the Yale Anti-gravity Society (YAGS) Fall Fireshow.
Due to growing safety concerns, YAGS Halloween performance may be their last. YAGS Treasurer Marueen Lloyd ’08, the fire department is currently deciding to terminate the YAGS’s 18-year-long fire-juggling fame. Despite this threat, the YAGS is excited to show off their flame-throwing skills. The free show will take place at 10 p.m. at Beinecke Plaza and will include original acts and a scripted show.
“Last year’s show was so amazing,” said Lloyd. “The atmosphere of fire is perfect for Halloween night.”
Although on a Monday night, students sponsoring Yale’s traditional college-wide liquor-treating will not succumb to the fears of low turnout. As in years past, students plan to liquor-treat both within their college and in other colleges, seeking out various dance parties and tasty drinks.
Yet because Halloween falls on a Monday, liquor-treating will not be as prevalent of an event this year. While colleges like Branford and Pierson will continue their Halloween traditions, other colleges will not host any parties Monday night.
“All I know about Monday night is that I’m going to be at the YSO show,” said Mike Lehmann ’08, who lives in the Saybrook 12-Pack.
Yet Halloween tradition will prevail, including traditions thought to be lost forever. After an incident in which college property was destroyed during the annual Pierson Inferno dance in 2002, the college decided to ban the dance for the following two years. Rumor has it, this year the infamous dance may light up Halloween night once again.
“The master of Pierson has asked us not to advertise or publicize anything,” said Pierson College Council President Brett Edkins ’06. “I can offer the cryptic quote: ‘Pierson will continue its Halloween traditions.'”
For Yalies seeking a low-key Monday night, Yale President Richard Levin will open his house once again to the Yale community. Students and faculty are invited to enjoy Halloween snacks and greet Levin and his wife Jane.
Many students assume that Halloween’s weekday appearance will discourage Yalies from venturing out into the night.
“Having Halloween on a Monday really hinders it,” Rachel Schechter ’07 said. “But this weekend people will definitely go out as an excuse to dress up and party. No one really cares if it’s the 31st.”
So the Yale party tradition will continue. “Yalies adopted Halloween as a time to go all out,” said Elsayed. “Life goes on hold, and we throw our responsibilities to the wind.”
And maybe, just maybe, eat a few candy bars along the way.