It’s that time of the year again: wearing scary outrageous costumes, carving pumpkins, stuffing your face with candy after going trick-or-treating. Halloween’s a favorite for many, especially for those on The Hill on the east end of campus. Every year, all the houses on The Hill go all out for Hill-o-ween, which is basically a giant Halloween-themed block party. Boss and McGill (BaM) throw a dance party, Welch and Henderson (WeHe) host pumpkin carving, and Hamerschlag and Scobell (HamSco) transform Hamerschlag into a haunted house renamed Schlagmere. I got to check out Hill-o-ween this year and surprisingly I didn’t freak out as much as I did at Kennywood. People who get easily scared like me would definitely have a good time at this event. So that’s why I wrote a quick guide to making the most out of your Hill-o-ween experience.

[BOLD]]Treat (but don’t trick) Yourself First[BOLD]
If you’re hungry and want to get a little something to eat before seeing all the other festivities, head over to BAM or WeHe. Along with their dance party, Boss and McGill gave out candy and cookies while Henderson and Welch served apple cider and cobbler to visitors. It was all pretty good!

[BOLD]After eating, go straight to Schlagmere[BOLD]
Lines can get pretty long for the haunted house, so get there as soon as you can. People look forward to this haunted house in particular because the residents and RAs of HamSco actually redecorate the building, making Hamerschlag for the most part, unrecognizable. And just so you know, they divide you into groups of eight for each tour so take into account where you’re standing in line; the last thing you want is to be separated from all your friends before entering a haunted house.

[BOLD]Bring a bunch of friends with you to Schlagmere[BOLD]
If you’re a real scaredy-cat, then just be sure to have some friends who can protect you from any jump scares, especially by students dressed up in some insane costumes (full black body suits, demonic teletubby, etc.). And beware any random screams you might hear, and/or students in costumes who will follow you during the tour. If you get freaked out to some extent, just remember, they’re all students. For a dorm-made haunted house, the effects were pretty impressive.

[BOLD]Need a break from the freakiness? Head over to WeHe for some pumpkin carving[BOLD]
Relax with your friends and meet new people by carving out some pumpkins. Remember doing this with your friends and family when you were a kid? Whether you do or don’t, it’s still something nice to experience. Yeah, carving out the pumpkin might get a little messy, but it’s all chill. You can transform your pumpkin into whatever you want and create an actual masterpiece. Some examples can now be found right in front of the Henderson House.

[BOLD]Dance off the stresses from your week at BaM[BOLD]
Just do it. The decorations, dance floor, and snacks are all there to remind you to take a break from studying and have fun.

[BOLD]Get in the Halloween Spirit[BOLD]
Hill-O-Ween happens before the actual day of Halloween every year. This year, the enthusiasm was only bolstered by the amazing weather. Watching your own friends dress up, and the spaces you inhabit every day get dressed up into something so original is a fun time indeed. If you missed it this year, there's always the next! You’re never too old for Halloween anyway!