When bats go flying and monsters are seen, the moon laughs and the wind whispers, “‘Tis near to Halloween.” The temperature has dropped to the most appropriate of degrees for Florida’s autumn.
Students around campus have switched from binge-watching their favorite television shows to bringing all of the Halloweentown Movies. Halloween is quickly approaching USF, and the chills are felt all-around.
Among all the marvelously eerie decorations and the store-bought or homemade costumes, the best part of Oct. 31 has to be the free pass to consume as much candy as humanly possible. Sarah Allen, a sophomore majoring in nursing, is helping to make sure families surrounding the campus have a creepy, yet safe evening.
“It’s the 7th Annual Trick-or-Treat with the Greeks here at the USF Greek Village,” Allen, a sister of Gamma Phi Beta, said. “It provides a safe trick-or-treating environment for the children in the surrounding USF area. Each fraternity and sorority, if they choose to participate, has decorated a table to hand out candy and has prepared an activity of their choice.”
With a Despicable Me themed table, the sisters of Gamma Phi will be doing temporary tattoos of minions on the trick-or-treaters.
The little ghouls and superheroes will be sure to fill their pillowcases with all the best sweets while their parents sit back and smile.
“This is my first time planning and participating in the event for my sorority and I think it’s a great opportunity for parents to bring their kids to a place they know their kids will be safe and welcomed,” Allen said.
Don’t think Allen will be missing out on any of the fun. With her Halloween costume remaining a surprise until the big day, Allen will be smiling along with every little witch and Disney princess that stops at her and her sister’s table.
“I love being able to dress up as something else for the day without being judged and just having fun,” Allen said.
Meanwhile, across the bridge at the USF Saint Petersburg Adriana Barnes, a sophomore majoring in English, has given herself an interesting 31-day Halloween challenge.
“In the beginning of October, I sketched out some spooky ideas and some people sent in requests. Then after a little while, I had 31 spooky cartoons prepared for the whole month. I have a paper with the dates and drawings in my make-up drawer, and every morning when I wake up I’m excited to try something new and different. I even try to match my outfit with whatever is on my cheek.” Barnes said.
She sported ‘BOO!’ on her right cheek on the 20th day of her challenge. The letters, no bigger than an inch, were bubbled in black and the inside of the ‘O’s showcased two happy ghosts.
A creative idea to keep up the chilling excitement of Halloween all through October, the “Spooky Looks” challenge, as Barnes has titled it, has been a favorite among her peers on campus.
“It’s really exciting seeing how it turns out and really flattering when people tell me it looks like a sticker or a tattoo,” Barnes said.
Every morning of her challenge, Barnes unveils her look of the day on her Snapchat story. Her friends and fans who helped her compose the list of doodles give her their reviews bright and early.
“This is the first year I have done my ‘Spooky Looks.’ From the reaction it’s getting, I’m probably going to be doing them every October if I can,” Barnes said. “I came up with the spooky looks because last year I did ‘spooky make-up,’ where I challenged myself to learn how to do full face make-up.
“So that October, I wore dark lipstick all month, and I learned how to do eyeshadow and other things so I could be spooky. I thought this year I could challenge myself again and draw little characters on my face using liquid eyeliner.”
So far, Barnes has crafted a bat, a ghost, a tombstone, and other hauntingly beloved symbols of Halloween.
“My favorites so far have been a spider hanging from my eyeliner, a witch on a broom, and a cat on a moon because those were the most challenging and fun to do,” Barnes said.
On the finale of Spooky Looks, she will unexpectedly exhibit two cow spots, as this year Barnes is going to be a cow for Halloween. She’ll spend the day in costume.
It seems every USF Bull has heard the ghastly notes of the graveyard bands and spotted hitchhiking ghosts waddling around campus. Taking the celebrations into their own hands, students are set to create their own Halloween memories and do their own version of the Monster Mash.
As Lock, Shock, and Barrel from the Nightmare Before Christmas put it so eloquently: “Life’s no fun without a good scare.”