NU students celebrate Halloween on and off campus


Rebecca Shaid/The Daily Northwestern

Students carved pumpkins at Norris University Center during a Thursday event.

Isabelle Butera, Reporter

It’s that time of year again: Northwestern students are busting out their best costumes and getting scared by more than just their midterms.

While some NU students plan to celebrate the holiday on campus, others are turning to off-campus entertainment for Halloween. About 140 students plan on attending Six Flags Fright Fest Friday night, to enjoy haunted houses and Halloween decor at the theme park. NU Nights, an organization that caters to students looking for options beyond the party scene, is hosting the trip with Student Organizations & Activities.

NU Nights President Alex Manka, a McCormick senior, said accessibility was a primary goal when planning the event.

“We are a substance-free, barrier-free alternative to parties on Friday nights for students who don’t fit in that crowd or want to do something a little more inclusive,” Manka said.

Communication junior and self-described “horror geek” Kylie Boyd said she’s excited to attend Fright Fest, especially since it’s free.

“I’ve always been a horror fan, and what I like about Fright Fest is that it’s legitimately scary and the actors are all in creepy makeup,” Boyd said. “Instead of just fun, spooky Halloween scary, it’s actually scary.”

Three students holding pumpkin-carving tools around a pumpkin.
Students scoop out pumpkin seeds in preparation to carve at Norris University Center’s Thursday event. (Rebecca Shaid/The Daily Northwestern)

For a more nostalgic Halloween option, trick-or-treating at Norris University Center is open to all students. The Big Candy Grab will run Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. — the last of the multi-day Halloween programming at Norris, which included pumpkin carving and craft making. 

Some NU students have different plans off campus. SESP sophomore Abby Nudell is attending a Zedd concert Friday night at the Aragon Ballroom with several friends. Nudell said she only listens to Zedd occasionally, but she’s looking forward to the energy of an in-person concert after spending more than a year and a half in smaller spaces. 

Nudell and her friends will dress up as cast members from the dating reality show “Love Island,” complete with homemade body microphones.

“I really like dressing up, even though it can be stressful,” Nudell said. “I think it can be fun to make a little group costume with your friends.”

Other NU students will celebrate the holiday with their teammates. Weinberg freshman Amelia Dungey said she’ll celebrate Halloween with NU’s fencing team after their tournament in St. Louis.

While the fencing team will compete all weekend, it plans to celebrate with a costume party Sunday. As a freshman, Dungey is excited for her first Halloween on campus. 

“I don’t really know what to expect, and I’m going in with no expectations,” Dungey said. 

Medill sophomore Jimmy He said he’ll celebrate Halloween with his teammates from NU Swim Club at a costume party Friday. He said he’s looking forward to celebrating after grinding all week for an economics midterm. 

For He, costumes are an important part of the holiday. His costume is the Greek god Hermes, complete with a white toga, Air Force 1s and gold body and face paint.

“I really like exploring my own creativity and seeing everyone (in costume),” He said. “It’s a really unique way to express yourself.” 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @isabelle_butera

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