By Sonam Rikha ’24
I stopped celebrating Halloween in 7th grade. What once was a fun time to dress up and stuff myself with candy became a regular, uneventful day. So when Halloween rolled around this year, I expected my normal wave of apathy to rush in. While I’d heard of Halloween parties and events being prominent in college, I underestimated how much fun Halloween weekend would be at Pomona. From the halls of my dorm being decorated in spiderwebs to the array of costumes that filled campus on the 31st, the Halloween spirit was strong at Pomona. From the series of events hosted by the Pomona community to get everyone in the Halloween spirit, here are three of my favorite moments from Halloween weekend:*
1) Pumpkin Carving with the Harwood Community
To get into the Halloween spirit, the Resident Advisors of Harwood (my dorm) and Harwood’s Resident Faculty (Professor Tom Le) organized a pumpkin-carving event for students. I’ve never carved a pumpkin and completely underestimated the difficulty of the art of carving a hard, slippery vegetable. While scooping out the seeds of a pumpkin sounds fairly easy, it is not for an amateur like myself who has no muscles or strength in my arms. What should’ve taken me ten minutes to do, took thirty. While my fellow dormmates made complex and intricate designs on their pumpkins, I resorted to a more simple “avant-garde” design. Although my pumpkin was “basic” looking, it was a product of my pain, sweat, and perseverance. Seeing the Harwood community come together to carve pumpkins––that would soon be destroyed by Claremont’s vicious squirrels––was heartwarming. Even though I don’t expect to be carving any more pumpkins in the future, I’m happy that Pomona gave me that unforgettable experience.
2) Pomona’s Spooky Haunted House
This year Pomona’s Events Committee (PEC) created their own Haunted House in Rose Hills Theater. I’ll admit: I was skeptical and doubtful of how scary it actually would be. As my friends and I headed toward the Haunted House, we were shocked by the already long line that wrapped around the theater. Hearing screams from the theater and seeing the smiles of students who survived their spooky experience, my friends and I began to get excited. After over an hour of waiting in line, my friends and I were welcomed into the dark theater. We were led by a student from PEC, who served as our guide through the complex corridors of Smith Campus Center’s underground theater. While Pomona’s version wasn’t utterly terrifying compared to an actual Haunted House, the theater was filled with screams, laughs, and lots of pushing to escape. I was pleasantly surprised to see the amount of effort PEC put into designing this experience. The Haunted House was filled with a diversity of characters and scenes from notable horror movies like Us, It, and The Purge. Whether it be the incredible student actors or the design of the set, Pomona’s Spooky Haunted House left us with a memorable thrill.
3) Dancing Sharks
After making it out alive from the Haunted House, my friends and I decided to check out the Claremont Ballroom Dance Company’s Halloween show. By the time we arrived, the Ballroom was already packed. Since I’d never seen a ballroom dance performance, I was surprised by both the complexity of the dance and the skills of my peers, who were performing quick and complicated steps in heels. The highlight of the performance was seeing three inflated sharks dancing in the middle of the stage. Yes, you heard me right. THREE INFLATED SHARKS. Cheers filled the room as the sharks and their partners twirled. My friends and I laughed and looked at each other in disbelief. All I can say is that watching my first ever ballroom show will always remain unforgettable.
While Pomona is known for its rigorous academics and ideal location, the beauty of Pomona is its (at times spooky) community.
*These events occurred in October, 2021.