Halloween gives kids the perfect excuse to dress as their favorite princess, superhero or the classic bed-sheet ghost to run around their neighborhoods in pursuit of candy.
After a tiring night of trick-or-treating, they return home with a reward that makes them grin and their parents grimace.
The task of collecting a large enough amount of sugary goodness does not come easily, and walking around neighborhoods can be a bit exhausting.
For years, both Fern Smith Hall and Stegenga Hall have helped with the daunting task of collecting enough candy to last kids until Christmas.
Dressed up in their own finest costumes, the girls who live in these dorms stand out in the hallway with bowls of candy, ready for professors and parents in the community to bring their children through the halls.
Don’t think this is put on solely for the kids, however.
Two years ago, North Suites Resident Director Kendall Stanislav and his wife, Ashley, brought their young children through, with their son Drew (3) dressed up as Mr. Fredricksen from the movie “Up.” Stegenga Resident Director Hannah McBride remembered this costume as one of her favorites.
“He had a PVC walker and even had balloons,” McBride said. “He was adorable.”
Stanislav also remembers the “Up” costume as one of the most memorable moments of that year.
“When Drew was the old man, we would walk onto each end and hear a collective gasp from the women,” Stanislav said. “He pulled off the bowtie, glasses and walker in an incredible way. I’m confident he was the most photographed child on campus that night.”
His two other children, Mady, 6, and Jack, 18 mo., also had memorable costumes.
“Last year Mady was an adorable Princess Leia and Jack pulled off a great baby Elvis,” Stanislav said.
Along with snapping pictures of the little visitors, the resident directors of Fern and Stegenga enjoy seeing their residents dress up and decorate. Alyssum Anderson, Resident Director of Fern, loves seeing the interaction between the girls and children.
“I love how everyone congregates in the hall and essentially just hangs out with each other for a few hours,” Anderson said. “It is so fun to see tons of kids dressed up and so pumped about all the candy in one place.”
McBride agrees that it is fun to have a change in the dorm atmosphere.
“I miss kids being around, so I think it is super fun,” McBride said. “I will hang décor on my door and will have a big bowl of candy and wander around the dorm.”
Anderson will be wandering her halls too, talking and hanging out with residents. This is McBride’s third year participating as an RD and will be Anderson’s fourth year.
Any girls who want to participate are responsible for their own decorations and candy. Although those big bags of candy aren’t exactly cheap, roommates Victoria Horn and Nicole Montgomery are eager to be a part of this year’s dorm trick-or-treating event.
“I love children and I love giving candy to children,” Montgomery said. “Not in a creepy way though.”
Last year she dressed up as Uncle Si from the popular television show Duck Dynasty.
“I made a kid cry because I had on my Uncle Si beard and he didn’t know it was me,” Montgomery said.
Horn chose a less-frightening costume.
“I dressed up as a very friendly lion and handed out candy,” she said. “I really miss handing out candy with my parents at home and seeing the kids in my neighborhood.”
This year, Horn will dress up as Madeline, a children’s book character that many little girls grew up reading about, and Montgomery will lose the beard to dress up as the classy movie star Audrey Hepburn.
From 5:30 — 7 p.m. on Halloween, Steggy and Fern’s hallways will be filled with a collection of “ooh”s and “ahh”s from girls passing out candy and the squeals of delight from the dressed up kids.