The Athens Halloween Block Party was a nice surprise for Swati Roy during her freshman year. Coming from Dhaka, Bangladesh, she had never celebrated Halloween until she started studying at Ohio University.
“I had a pretty good idea about what Halloween is because we watched a lot of American TV,” Roy, a junior studying finance, accounting and business pre-law, said. “The block party was a really big surprise. I didn’t think it was going to be really that big of a party, and that they were going to block off streets and have a whole street party. That was a really good surprise.”
Roy said dressing up as something different is all in good fun. Her first year in Athens she was a zombie, inspired by the TV series The Walking Dead. This year, she dressed up as a “she-devil.”
“It was fun,” Roy said. “I didn’t spend too much time at the block party this year though. It wasn’t as good as last year. I mostly was with my friends and at other parties.”
Lauren Ramoser, an intern at WOUB who is from Leipzig, Germany, has celebrated Halloween in Germany, but said there are usually one or two Halloween parties in the towns. Halloween parties back home were not widely popular and would be celebrated at certain bars, she said.
“It’s more like when Jackie O’s has a ‘90s night, and some people come dressed up,” Ramoser said.
Ramoser celebrates Carnival, which is a much bigger celebration than the Halloween celebrations in Athens. Entire cities are crowded and festive, and everybody gets dressed up. Ramoser celebrated her first Halloween in Athens this year and dressed as a cereal killer.
“I took the opportunity and worked for weeks on my costume,” Ramoser said. “I wanted to be very creative so that nobody realized it was my first Halloween. … The best part about the costume was emptying the boxes. I had cereal for a whole week.”
She expected the block party to be bigger based on what people had told her about Halloween, but she said it was good that the party was not as crowded because she lost half of her cereal boxes by the end of the night.
“We were dancing in the crowd, and it was just a little bit too close to stay on,” Ramoser said. “But I had a lot of fun.”
Ramoser said she likes Halloween but was slightly disappointed by the costumes she saw this year.
“I thought people would put more effort,” Ramoser said. “The gap was so big. Some people put a lot of effort in their costumes and then there were lots of these sexy-something costumes to look good, but not really super creative. Some costumes I really liked.”
Lisa Roever, a graduate student studying chemistry and biochemistry who is also from Leipzig, went to the Athens Halloween Block Party as Mrs. Incredible. She had been to a Halloween party before in Hamburg, Germany, but the Athens Halloween Block Party was her first Halloween in the U.S.
“It was great. Everyone had a good time, but I was also kind of shocked,” Roever said. “When I went to Wendy’s at 6 p.m. and a girl was vomiting all over the floor. I was kind of shocked, but nevertheless it was a good party.”