Halloween used to be a favorite holiday for students. It guaranteed that for one half-day in late October everyone could hang up their stiff, plaid jumpers or khaki pants in exchange for a poodle skirt or a Power Ranger mask. It prompted multiple readings of The Headless Horseman and a trip to the pumpkin patch. Now, the fear of ghosts and goblins is replaced by econ grades and Spanish presentations. Coming up in the middle of the endless Boston College midterm season, Halloween can either become a weekend of drinking away academic sorrows or a FOMO-inducing study marathon. This year, instead of pathetically writing essays while wearing cat ears in O’Neill on Thursday night or pregaming with spiked cider, students should take advantage of the Halloween happenings in Boston this weekend.
Take a break from Latin American History notes this weekend and instead learn some spookier facts about Boston’s history with a city ghost tour. These 90-minute walks will not only take patrons through some of Boston’s best spots by night, but will also highlight the city’s haunted history from the witches of its colonial beginnings to the ghosts who still supposedly roam the highway tunnels. Definitely holiday-appropriate, these lantern-lit expeditions are held all weekend and begin around sundown.
Residents of the Mods and Foster Street aren’t the only ones preparing for a Halloween party. On Thursday, the Red Sox are hosting a two-part celebration at Fenway Park that is free and open to the public. “Halloween at Fenway Park” will begin on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. with trick-or-treating around the track. Costume wearers of all ages are invited to fill pillowcases with candy handed out by Red Sox staff and Wally the Green Monster. If one’s candy basket is at risk of overflowing, one can take a break to get one’s face painted or see one of the team’s three recent World Series trophies. At 6 p.m., the decorated field will turn into an outdoor movie theatre as Ghostbusters is screened on the main video board. Although both events are free, tickets are required for the movie portion of the evening and can be claimed on the Red Sox’s website.
Halloween Bike Ride
Skip running around the Reservoir this weekend for a more festive form of exercise. The Boston Halloween Bike Ride will be held this year on Friday night as participants travel about 12 miles through Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline in costume. The celebration has been an October tradition since 2000, and, from witches to Miley Cyrus, costumed riders from all over the city are registered for this year’s community bike ride. On Halloween night, the event will begin at Copley Square at 8 p.m. and end at Allston’s Wonderbar for a post-ride party. While the after party is restricted to those 21 and older, anyone in costume can register to ride.
For a less spooky Saturday afternoon, take a self-guided walking tour of Beacon Hill. The picturesque streets of one of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods become even more enchanted during this time of year. Jack-o-lanterns of all shapes and sizes grace the cobblestone sidewalks that snake past the area’s historic houses. The quaint Chestnut and Mt. Vernon Sts. just a short walk from the Common, are home to some of the city’s most extravagant decorations, a festive tradition that has continued since the early 1970s. If students want to experience the decorations in the dark, many of Beacon Hill’s most adorned streets will be closed to traffic from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Halloween night for safe trick-or-treating and touring.
Step out of the Pumpkin Spice comfort zone this weekend and embrace some more holiday-inspired eats. Restaurants, bars, and bakeries across the city are serving menu items that reflect both the holiday and the season, ranging from Pumpkin Risotto at Pier 6 to Georgetown Cupcake’s Halloween Bat dessert. If anyone is feeling especially adventurous in light of the holiday, head to The Hampshire House in Beacon Hill on the 31st for Dining in the Dark’s sensory Halloween dinner experience.
If students cannot make it into the city this year, the possibilities for your Halloweekend still do not end with an off-campus party. Head back to Upper where they can not only relive the horrors of a forced triple, but also visit an on-campus haunted house. Throughout the University’s history, multiple accounts have been reported of a supernatural presence that lurks in the O’Connell House. Rumors have been neither confirmed nor denied, but surround the possibility of a ghost dog that haunts the house by night and a spirit who died on the second floor. Freshmen are not the only ones on campus with an eerie, unwelcomed guest. The Hovey House, now home to the Office of International Programs, is also said to be frequented by the distressed spirit of one of Mr. Hovey’s daughters.
Featured Image by Breck Wills / Heights Graphic