Ryan Chiao

This past week, Yale students faced police, storms and crowds while raging their way through Yale’s first “Halloweek” since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dancing through shut-down clubs, broken tables in fraternity houses and hidden basements on Old Campus, the week was distinct for Yale’s first years, who experienced often-chaotic Halloween traditions for the first time. There were events across campus from Wednesday through Sunday. 

The week began with the much anticipated ‘Hallowoads,’ which was shut down after crowds  of students pushed to enter Toad’s Place. However, the sirens and police did not stop some students from celebrating.

“I watched my best friend make out with a Peter Pan in front of someone being carried away on a stretcher on the sidewalk,” Whitney Blue ’25 said. 

Those who could not enter “Hallowoads” before it was shut down mingled on the sidewalk in the rain, some making new acquaintances while others planned out how to salvage the remnants of their buzz for the remainder of the night.

But some students within the club or stuck in the scrum outside were shaken by the event and left dazed and confused. 

“YTV interviewed me on the street on my way out of the club and I fully thought I was talking to Michael Barbaro,” Amelie Halleman ’25 said. 

Some students continued their Halloween festivities on Thursday in preparation for the weekend. One a cappella group hosted a party that was completely packed by 12:30 a.m., with a crowd so eager to dance that it broke a table. 

But some students enjoyed themselves more than others. 

“The DJ … was horrible,” Kennedy Anderson ‘25 said. “Ironic that the a cappella frat knows nothing about good party music.” The venue featured a student DJ who told the News he “tried the best he could.”

On Friday, Branford College shined with its “Liquor Treating” event, where students moved between entryways to receive small pre-made cocktails. “Liquor treating” is an event held by multiple residential colleges for legal drinkers each year.

Later that night, a sea of devils, angels and cats made their way to Yale’s various fraternity houses and other party venues. Since these events required invitation, some first-years came with covert plans to gain themselves entry, including forcing their way in through a back window of a fraternity.

Chaos rained down on Edon, Yale’s co-ed fraternity which was formerly known as Sigma Phi Epsilon. On top of highly packed crowds and students fighting to get past the door, the rain posed a new challenge to students at the fraternities, most of which have outdoor spaces.

“It was chaotic, all of a sudden it started raining heavily and people were running everywhere, mascara running down their faces and hair strands sticking to their cheeks,” Isabella Romero Stefanoni ’25 said. 

The rain continued into Saturday evening, but many students flocked to fraternities and athletic team mixers despite the weather. 

Some students began their night at a concert thrown by WYBC, the radio station based on Yale’s campus. 

“The radio party was really fun,” said Logan Foy ’25. “There was [live music], and everyone was very much dancing and having fun.”

Halloweek concluded Sunday evening with the annual Yale Symphony Orchestra Halloween Show. YSO returned to its signature midnight event, which is held in Woolsey Hall each Halloween, and played in front of a limited audience due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Dressed in their costumes for the final time this Halloween season, students watched the show both in person and virtually, marking the finale to “Halloweek.”

The YSO performed its first Halloween Show in 1975.

Alessia Degraeve covered student culture. She is an English major in the Saybrook College class of 2025.