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Why does ASU love Halloween so much?

Ghouls, ghosts... and SUN DEVILS

Halloween Contract Drawing

"It's never too early for that spooky Halloween spirit!" Illustration published on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Illustration published on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. 

Arizona State University students go crazy over Halloween.

In terms of spending nationwide, Halloween is behind Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and even the Super Bowl, according to the National Retail Federation.

However, at ASU, Halloween is a widely-known occasion and has even received national attention.

Every year around Oct. 31, parties start up across the University, with notably large crowds on Mill Avenue on the Tempe campus. It becomes difficult, if not impossible, to cross campus without seeing someone in costume. 

There’s even a pumpkin carving scholarship from Wholesale Halloween Costumes available on ASU’s Financial Aid and Scholarship Services site.

Joshua Galvan, a junior studying political science, said the hype could come solely from the excitement of wearing a costume.

“A lot of people think it’s fun to dress up,” he said. “It’s kinda goofy in some ways ... if you just really want to dress up as something you can do that. It can be a fun time just on that basis alone.”

Galvan also said it could be due to the celebrations themselves. 

“But also, it’s a party holiday," he said. "I’m sure there’s some reason it started in particular but, I mean, at this point it’s just like, ‘Hey, let’s let’s dress up and do something fun’. So, you know, I guess that’s why it’s so popular. It’s a reason to cut loose.” 

He also said the holiday’s past might have some clue. 

According to the History Channel’s website, Halloween originated with the Celtic holiday Samhain, which used festivities, food and costumes to ward off the souls of the dead. Later, after Pope George III created All Saint's Day on Nov. 1, Samhain became All Hallow’s Eve, which soon became Halloween. 

As America developed its own traditions, Oct. 31 evolved into the enormous event known today, with about $8 billion spent in 2016 on decorations, costumes and candy according to Statistic Brain.

Even freshmen have heard of the coming festivities.

Alexandra Pippett, a freshman studying math, said she’d heard of ASU’s Halloween spirit.

“Actually, I’ve heard it’s really big,” she said. “I like Halloween. I love Halloween... I watch scary movies.”

Cameron Shaw, a senior studying sales and marketing, said the holiday keeps coming sooner and sooner.

“My friend works at Walgreens, and he put up Halloween stuff like a month ago,” he said. “Yeah, so he’s on the front lines of that. It gets out early. Seems like it gets out earlier every year.”

In relation to the hype, Shaw said parties and costumes accounted for most, if not all, of Halloween’s appeal.

“I mean, I think it’s just another excuse for a party," he said. "I think dressing up is kinda fun and I think a lot of people get into it.”

Joshua Galvan said the two most important things were staying safe and having fun.

“Hang out with your friends, go to parties with your friends, just as long as you’re safe,” he said. “Know your limits if you’re gonna drink. You’re gonna have a good time as long as you’re responsible, doing what you’re doing.”

Reach the reporter at or follow @TrevorMHutchins on Twitter.

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