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With Columbia students scattered across the globe and the pandemic in full swing, Halloween is going to look a little different this year. We took a trip into the Spec archives and down memory lane to see the spooky stories about the Columbia community that have been covered over the years to remind ourselves that the spirit of Halloween still lives on—even on Zoom.

From Oct. 31, 1950. Feast your eyes upon the transformative journey of a young Aristotelian scholar who turns into a pumpkin. Just one of many curiosities that happen on a Halloween night at Columbia.


From Oct. 31, 1978. Never a better time than Halloween to flex your fashion guns and jog that creative side of your brain.


From Nov. 8, 1979. The cult movie “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is known for its simultaneous stage show and movie screening as the classic form of viewing. Pictured here is a student dressed up as Magenta, a domestic maid.



From Oct. 31, 1980. Lucifer who? 300 fanatics watched on as a high priest and self-proclaimed “Disciples of Darkness” acted out the sacrifice of a virgin on a makeshift altar—the Sundial. The controversial tradition of this “virgin sacrifice” was put to an end in 1983 after it drew protest and was permanently banned by a judge.


From Nov. 1, 1988. Prepping for that campus tour about 10 years too early.


From Oct. 2, 1997. Who would’ve thought that shopping in a store would become a rare opportunity in 2020?


From Nov. 1, 2001. Like the Junior Class Student Council of 2001, give back to your community this Halloween and wish someone a spooky Halloween this coming Saturday.


From Nov. 1, 2001. Like the Junior Class Student Council of 2001, give back to your community this Halloween and wish someone a spooky Halloween this coming Saturday.


From Nov. 1, 2001. Like the Junior Class Student Council of 2001, give back to your community this Halloween and wish someone a spooky Halloween this coming Saturday.


From Oct. 24, 2007. The same problem still haunts us today. To all of you still in the thick of midterm season, there is light at the end of the tunnel—keep your head up!


From Oct. 30, 2013. You might be racking your brain for a fresh Halloween costume idea. This editorial introduces six Columbia-inspired get-ups, including the Butler Library camper, the business student, and the sleeping undergrad. Take some notes for inspiration!


From Oct. 30, 2017. During the Friday night shadow cast, the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Show” was put on once again, this time by members of the Columbia Musical Theatre Society’s cast.


Deputy editors Jane Mok and Olivia Treynor can be contacted at jane.mok@columbiaspectator.com and olivia.treynor@columbiaspectator.com. Follow Spec on Twitter @columbiaspec.


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