As a community neighboring Salem, Endicott College has long held Halloween (and October in general for that matter) to a high regard. Even moreso, Endicott’s location has only assisted in setting the tone for Halloween scares.
Anything could lurk in the dark woods surrounding the campus, waiting patiently for a student who finds themselves too close to the treeline. The sea, itself a cold, impenetrable blanket hiding Earth’s biggest secrets, beckons to anyone who stops for a quick glance.
Though Salem is known for its dark history surrounding the Witch Trials, Beverly itself is not too far out of a vengeful spirit’s reach; after all, town borders were a lot muddier during those times of colonial horror. All this without even touching upon the countless ghost stories that plague the resident halls and the people within them…
In previous years, Endicott has been able to fully embrace its creepy campus. Scary events were often prevalent throughout October, including everything from indoor horror movie nights to up-close and personal “Haunted Trails” through the woods. Even some clubs were able to set up special events, such as The Endicott Review, which in 2019 held a public campfire reading of both classic and student-composed horror fiction.
However, 2020’s issues involving COVID-19 have made this year’s Halloween especially scary. Clubs and event organizers have been forced to sacrifice and adapt their established festivities in order to accommodate a safer, socially distant campus. Movie nights are now held outside, and other events (such as the Haunted Trail) are still in motion, they will no doubt be hindered in some way through the necessity of diligent sanitation and social distancing.
Halloween itself, a night often full of parties and social gatherings, will also look completely different on campus this year, as it is sure to all across America.
As a result, students have been finding new, safer ways to celebrate both on and off campus. Some are still helping and participating in events on campus, such as Sophomore Heather Bacon, who shared, “I’m working Late Night LoCa's Virtual Escape Night. It’s a contactless event where people can join in groups of four to test their wit and see how fast they can escape the challenges and riddles.”
Some are taking their ventures off campus, immersing themselves in the surrounding (outdoor) communities. Freshman Jessica Glynn shared her plans, saying, “I’m going with my roommates and some other people from my floor to downtown Salem. We’re all going to dress up in costumes and walk around, avoiding the bigger crowds while still appreciating the city.”
Other students are taking advantage of this year’s restrictions, using Halloween for some self-care time instead.
Senior Bekah Schade mentioned, “I’m gonna dress up as my favorite rapper and probably sit alone in my dorm room, but it will just be fun to dress up anyway.”