Halloween is often seen as a ghoulish holiday centered on spooks and horrors, with celebrations focused on terrifying tricksters and haunted houses. California Baptist University has a history with the holiday.
According to CBU’s yearbook, “The Angelos,” the university has celebrated the holiday with everything from carnivals and trick or treating to haunted houses.
“We used to have a trick or treating event in Simmons Hall where each wing picked a theme and decorated their hall,” Joe Adcock, assistant dean of students, said. “Tons of staff, faculty and neighborhood families came for a safe environment to take their kids. It was pretty amazing what the girls came up with for their wing.”
When indoor trick or treating grew in popularity, so did the celebration put on by the university. Octoberfest took place on the lawn between the dorms and offered a carnival complete with game booths, a dunk tank and cotton candy. Students and campus groups ran the event. The end of trick or treating came as a result of fire codes, but Octoberfest continued and expand- ed until local churches began to offer similar events. Attendance dwindled along with student participation. The funds used for Octoberfest were reallocated and used to expand Fortuna
Bowl. “We felt like we were using student money
but students weren’t coming other than working the booths,” Heather Hubbert, assistant dean of students, said.
CBU also hosted a haunted house in the ’70s
and ’80s. This student-run attraction took place in the catacombs.
“This was stopped for two reasons. One, the fire department did not like people being down in the catacombs and, two, the students and ad- ministration did not think it was a positive reflec- tion of the school or Christianity,” Kent Dacus, vice president for enrollment and student ser- vices, said.
These events are recorded in “The Angelos”, along with photos of students dressed up in their Halloween costumes. Some date back to 1959.
“Although we have no specific policy, our practice is to prohibit any activities that would be controversial or in conflict with our Christian faith,” Dacus said.
This year the office of Residence Life is hosting an event.