Looking Back: Halloween celebrations at OU throughout the years


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Students dress in toilet paper costumes.

Bridget Janis, Managing Editor

Halloween has been celebrated many different ways on campus throughout the years. Oakland University has provided many activities in the past for students to get involved in that allowed them to dress up and celebrate the holiday.

In 1985, the celebration of the holiday was focused around a Halloween party sponsored by the Student Program Board (SPB). With an estimated turnout of 800 people, it was the biggest Halloween party Oakland University had ever thrown. 

Featuring music, contests and bobbing for apples, the party was a success in that everyone attended had fun, but the students were kept safe. With the concern about security due to so many more people attending compared to prior years, there were extra security measures taken by Keith McGraw, dance chairperson at the time, and SPB.

“We’re doing it on our own [security measures],” McGraw said.

Another big part of Halloween is horror movies. OU decided to take a further look into the film industry in 2009 with workshops about horror movies.

Michael Manasseri, an executive vice president for independent film distributor Big Screen Entertainment came to OU. He showed his directorial debut, “Babysitter Wanted,” and talked about his career and how some horror movies can use psychological distress to be scary.

“It’s really more like an old-fashioned horror film out of the ’70s,” Manasseri said. “I wanted to make a movie  kind of like ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ or ‘The Omen’ … It starts off like any other babysitter horror movie.”

OU film majors were about to go to this event during the week of Halloween and learn more about their future industry while understanding how a different genre of films is made. 

The OU Spooktacular Halloween series all started Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, with a multitude of Halloween-related festivities at Elliott Tower. 

At the end of the event, there was a live carillon concert using the bells in Elliott Tower. There was also trick-or-treating around the tower, face painting, arts and crafts, and giveaways. Students were given cider, doughnuts and caramel apples.

“Students, faculty and the community are welcomed to come to this event to enjoy the Halloween activities,” said Jean Ann Miller, director of the Center for Student Activities and Leadership Development. “Everyone doesn’t have to dress up, so they can feel free to come as they are or can get in the Halloween spirit and dress up.”

In the past year, the Campus Student Organic Farm (CSOF) got involved in putting on some Halloween and fall festivities. They put on their first Halloween Bash in 2016, which had a pumpkin carving competition and ladder golf to win prizes. 

“It’s my first time here, so it’s fun to see the entire farm for the first time,” Stephanie Allen, then OU freshman, said. “I heard they have cider and doughnuts. Pumpkin carving has been my favorite part so far.”

Students that participated in the pumpkin carving contest ended up supporting the CSOF by raising money for the farm as well as helping their pumpkin sales.

“Sales are a little bit down, but [we are] big on student involvement this year, which is a really good thing,” said Marissa Dicicco, senior manager and president of the CSOF.