Halloween is a time for spooky movies, haunted houses, parties, local traditions, happiness and sugar rushes. Thanks to its rich history, Maryville College offers a variety of fun ways to celebrate the holiday. Many old traditions are still around while some others aren’t, and new traditions are being made every year.
Maryville College once welcomed all families, students and faculty on Halloween night. A time full of happiness and candy galore, kids could go trick-or-treating at various campus buildings. These festivities included spooky movies, students passing out candy, and an opportunity for everyone to dress up. However, this tradition stopped in the last few years, possibly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, for those seeking to celebrate Halloween on campus, there are still a variety of other traditions.
Hosted by Alpha Psi Omega, ghost tours on campus were held on Oct. 21 from 8 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. Starting at the picnic tables near Honaker Fields, the tours took students through the college woods to the House in the Woods. Entrance to the attraction cost $5. Proceeds are to be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank.
A campus festivity still in full swing is the Anderson Hall haunted mansion. Directed by the Humanities, Languages and Literature, and Education divisions, it’s a thrilling time full of spooky haunted horror. Students can take a self-guided tour between classes, or stop for a visit with the mastermind.
“[Administrative assistant] Wendy Specter decorates every year. It’s been happening as long as I can remember,” Dr. Sylvia Turner, director of TRIO, said. Wendy’s office can be found on the second floor of Anderson.
Another historical tradition involved retired alumni and faculty gifting pumpkins to the campus to help students feel at home. The tradition was initiated by Rachel Gibson, the wife of Maryville College’s 10th president, Gerald Gibson. It came to an end shortly after their departure.
It was also around this time that the homecoming parade was given a Halloween theme. The students, alumni and faculty all began to dress up in costumes and throw candy from the floats. It was a good time, but the college community has moved away from that and returned to homecoming events that allow pride for the college to be the main attraction.
Halloween celebrations are still going strong at Maryville College through these traditions and more. A time full of happiness and cheer, Maryville College is a wonderful place to celebrate the spooky season.