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Tales of fright, laughter: University community recalls memorable Halloween shenanigans

Isabella Schreck
Carved pumpkins decorate a ledge outside of Beall Hall on Oct. 8, 2023.

As the winds of October swept through campus, some alumni, faculty and employees found themselves reflecting on memories from the eeriest night of the year – Halloween. 

While working at a Circle K gas station in Ellet, Ohio, on Oct. 30 about five years ago, William Pruitt, an employee with Custodial Services, said he saw a large crowd huddled around a car at one of the pumps.

He said he saw what appeared to be a body – possibly a clown – laying on the hood of the car — and panicked.  

“Not really thinking it’s Halloween, and I see a clown on the hood of a car, I thought maybe somebody hit somebody in the parking lot,” he said. “So, I panic, and I call 911. I tell them that I’m an employee and I just witnessed somebody hit a customer in my parking lot. Then they asked me to gather some information.”

When he ran over to the scene, the man driving the car explained to Pruitt that the clown in question was a mannequin, and it was “all a prank.”

“I’m like, ‘Bro — I’m on the phone with the police thinking you just murdered somebody!’” he said.

Kenya Daniel’s children dress up for trick-or-treating during Halloween weekend 2023. (Courtesy of Kenya Daniels)

Kenya Daniels, a 2019 Kent State associate of business graduate, said she spent time trick-or-treating in the Tri-Towers dorms on campus in 2005 when she was living in the Skeels-McElrath community of Ravenna.

“They really worked hard to give an experience that they knew we wouldn’t have experienced because of the area we lived in, so they really went all out,” she said. “They would make it very spooky. They gave a lot of the good candy. They were extra nice.”

This tradition brought a sense of joy and unity while facing challenging times, Daniels said.

“It was just an awesome experience, especially coming from an area where it wasn’t safe or people didn’t have the money to basically provide that experience for us even as far as the Halloween decorations and things like that,” she said. “We weren’t able to go around our community and get that experience.”

Idris Kabir Syed, an associate professor in Africana Studies, said he passed thousands of people as he walked around downtown Kent during Halloween celebrations years ago.  

In the midst of all the action and the sea of people, he spotted a few of his students in a compromising situation. 

“One of my favorite [crazy] memories was a couple [of] years back, probably like 2015 or 2016 — I got out there, must’ve been about 30,000 people downtown, and I saw some of my students who were urinating on the side of a wall at the bar and enjoying themselves quite a bit.” 

Even though the trick-or-treating has ended for these adults, Daniels said Halloween now provides a break from everyday hardships of life and “the same ‘ol same ‘ol.” 

“We get to briefly escape our challenges and enjoy the celebrations,” she said. “For many, it’s just an opportunity to simply bond with their children by planning and participating in costume preparations, trick-or-treating or attending Halloween parties.”

Ed Bankston is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Isabella Schreck, Editor-in-Chief
Izzy is a junior journalism major who loves reading, writing, talking — and most importantly, asking a lot of questions. She previously was Sports Editor and a sports and general assignment reporter. She loves learning about other peoples’ stories and is grateful for the opportunity to share them with the public! Contact her at [email protected].

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