If there’s one thing that is loved by all Ohio University students, it’s Halloween. And we love it quite a lot.
Halloween weekend is no laughing matter in Athens. Historically, the city hosts an annual block party Uptown, complete with a stage and musical guests, along with the Honey for the Heart parade.
The block party was unfortunately canceled for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, students have — and will — continue to create new memories this Halloween however they choose to celebrate.
In honor of Halloween weekend, here are some of the Post staff’s favorite memories of Halloween in Athens and beyond:
Abby Miller, editor-in-chief
Prior to my first Halloween weekend as a freshman, I had only heard stories of how monstrous the Athens festivities were. I was blown away by how much the city exploded with Halloween spirit and energy the Saturday before Halloween. I wore a costume as I went out to report on the day for The Post, watching the Honey for the Heart parade make its way down the bricks of Court Street. I got to spend the evening with some of the first college friends I had made that year after doing my reporting. It was a great Halloween weekend that really showed me how alive this town in the middle of Southeast Ohio can be.
Ashley Beach, slot editor
There’s a little family-owned pumpkin patch that lies just outside of town in Waynesville, Ohio, that my family went to every year when I was younger. They had a small, yet striking selection of pumpkins and would give you Utz Halloween pretzels with every purchase. Then, my brother and I would go home and carve them with my dad at our kitchen table. My mom would sometimes bake the pumpkin seeds for us to snack on as we worked on our creations. I always looked forward to this tradition.
Abby Neff, news reporter
My twin and I were born four days before Halloween, so most of our birthday parties growing up were Halloween-themed. When I was a freshman at OU, Halloween weekend happened to fall on my birthday. It was the first one I was going to celebrate without my twin. On the morning of my birthday, I invited my friends to Union Street Diner for breakfast. One of my best friends from home (shoutout Caroline Bissonette) told me she was running late. As she finally walked down West Union Street, I noticed someone hiding behind her. The small figure was carrying cupcakes and shared my hair color. It was my twin; she had surprised me in Athens! Needless to say, I will never forget my first Halloween at OU.
Emma Skidmore, news editor
I grew up on a Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan. I went to school and base and formed a whole community with kids having similar life experiences. Halloween was the one day a year the gates were open to the kids who lived off-base to trick-or-treat. I’ll never forget the sheer number of kids who showed up and flooded our neighborhood, everyone meeting and talking about their costumes. Living overseas is one of my most special life experiences, and I am so happy to hold this memory close to my heart.
Mikayla Rochelle, opinion editor
Last year, for Halloween I dressed up as Kylo Ren from Star Wars. I ran into a girl who was dressed up as Leia, and as we were complimenting each other's costumes another random girl walked up to us who was dressed as Padme (that’s three generations of Star Wars characters). We took a picture together and got to hang out for a while and geek out over our mutual loves of the franchise. It was just an awesome example of how bobcat friendships can start with something as simple as “I love your costume!” Halloween in Athens is a great way to hang out with your friends, but it’s also a great time to make new ones, too.
Riley Runnells, culture editor
Halloween has always been my favorite time of the year. Not only do I love dressing up as really fun characters, but growing up it was a special time to bond with my dad. He was in Colorado as the bench coach for the Colorado Rockies for eight months out of the year, but he’d always make it home by Halloween and take me and my friends out trick or treating. Together, we’d dress up as the Mad Hatter and Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Jack Skellington and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Daddy Warbucks and Annie from Annie and so many more. Now that I’m at school, I still dress up and go out to enjoy the Athens Halloween festivities, but I always feel nostalgic around this holiday thinking about my bonding time with my dad.
Molly Wilson, asst. news editor
Halloween movies are the reason I love Halloween. I’ve never been one for dressing up or stressing out about a costume idea, but Halloween triggers Thanksgiving, which in my eyes is basically Christmas. While I am already daydreaming of hot cocoa and snow, there is something special about sitting down and turning on a classic Halloween movie. Classic may be a stretch for some when it comes to my taste in film, but there is nothing better than a Disney Channel Original Halloween movie. Twitches, Halloween Town and Hocus Pocus are some of my favorites, but my all-time favorite is Mostly Ghostly. Those movies seem to transport me back to my childhood home where I picture myself laying in a homemade fort with my little brother in our living room, sipping on a cup full of hot apple cider with the biggest grin on my face when the screen goes black before the title appears. There is something special about a time of year that makes you feel like a kid again, and Halloween seems to be the first moment each year that truly takes me back to that time in my life.
Kayla Bennett, asst. culture editor
Not only is fall my favorite season because I can finally wear layers, but it’s also the time for my favorite holiday: Halloween. From a young age, I switched back and forth from orange and black being my favorite color, specifically because they were the traditional colors of Halloween. This time of year is unmatched by any other, for it’s the one time of year people can be whoever they want to be. Every year, I pick costumes that represent me in some type of way, if that’s through my personality or appearance. I found joy in having to explain my costumes and how I personalized them to fit me. These are the Halloween traditions that keep the same level of excitement every year. This is my first Halloween in Athens, and I can’t wait to see what it has in store, but I’ll always remember the traditions back home. A tradition I dearly remember and cherish is one of my grandma’s. She makes popcorn balls for all her trick or treaters and always makes extra for me and my two brothers. I’m looking forward to dressing up this year but can’t help but miss my grandma’s homemade treats.