Storrs Stories: A look into Halloween’s past on campus


Mark Williams, a UConn bus driver, decided to get into the Halloween spirit in 1979.

Students at the University of Connecticut have celebrated Halloween in various ways over the years, including a clown bus driver and hosting inner-city trick-or-treaters.

Students at the University of Connecticut were greeted by a clown driving the shuttle bus on Halloween in 1979.

Mark Williams, a third-semester student at the time and shuttle bus driver, was dressed in a clown costume while driving his bus route that day.

He had hopes to “make people smile,” and said he saw a lot of bright faces and double takes.

Students in Shippee and Northwood passed out candy to tick-or-treaters in 1989.

Williams said he was tired of seeing “droopy faces” when people got on his bus.

“The whole point of this is to make people smile, and anything goes, as long as you keep your eyes on the road,” Williams said.

Students at UConn in 1989 were visited by trick-or-treaters from Hartford as part of a program that allowed UConn students to travel to Hartford and tutor inner-city children.

Meg Donaldson, a seventh-semester student at the time, said the children were brought to campus to experience college life, and that attending college may only be a dream to some of them.

“The program accomplished the immediate goal of getting the children away from the city and hopefully sometime down the road it will foster kids coming to the university,” Donaldson said.

Students in dorms like Shippee and Northwood signed up to pass out candy, as trick-or-treaters went door to door.

“Students in 26 rooms signed up […] which is more than I expected but less than I had hoped for,” Donaldson said.

The trick-or-treaters then attended a Halloween party at Storrs Congregational Church.

The Northwood Resident Association sponsored many of the Halloween activities. There was also an apartment that was turned into a haunted house.

International students also dressed up in traditional costumes from their country.

Ashley Anglisano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at

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