Photos: 100 years of Halloween at Creighton
Photos: 100 years of Halloween at Creighton

 

By Micah Mertes

Like so much else at Creighton, Halloween’s got a long, rich and often amusing history — a time of year when the magis meets the macabre.

Spooky bashes and balls have endured as a fall fixture for decades. As have popular campus traditions like Kiewit’s Haunted House, Skutt’s Halloween Maze and the Haunted Physics Lab in Rigge.

With social distancing and other safety measures now preventing much in the way of Halloween tradition, we decided to dip into the past and see how Creighton has celebrated the holiday over the years. What follows are photos, ads and articles from more than a century of Creightonian issues and Blue Jay yearbooks.

Please enjoy the following nostalgia. We hope it’s as comforting as a pumpkin-shaped mug of steaming apple cider. On a crisp autumn day. At a high school football game.

Also, Happy Halloween, Boo-jays (I’m sorry). Be safe. And be sure your costume includes a face covering.

Note: ​More recent Creighton Halloween photos and ads were harder to come by. Have some you’d like us to include? Send them to micahmertes [at] creighton [dot] edu.

 

In the early 20th century, Halloween didn’t look much like it does today. (Here’s a good article about the holiday’s traditions near the start of the century.)

But even in the early ’20s — shortly after a world war and pandemic — you could find a mask dance nearby.

 

All manner of frightful festivities seemed to be on the wane through the Depression and WWII. (Supply shortages, people on edge, bad time for childish mischief.) In 1949, The Creightonian pondered the reason for our lackluster spirit …

 

Perhaps a skating party would help. Especially one that provided hats and horns.

 

Not gonna lie. The 1940s? Pretty weird. (Not that it needs to be said, but no one should take the following advice.)

 

FYI, at one point in the ’50s, Creighton had its own werewolf. It allegedly stole hamburger meat. A full account …

Newspaper clipping 1949 werewolf story

For what it’s worth, the mystery of the wolf was never solved. 

By the 1970s, Halloween was decidedly a thing at Creighton. The students were wild for it. 

 

And the local haunts delivered …

 

And the Bluejay Bar, of course …

 

Near the end of the ’70s — a decade that reinvented the horror movie with classics like The Exorcist and Jaws — came the Halloween-est Halloween movie ever made …

 

As for the ’80s, well, let’s just let the photos do the talking.

 

 

 

Plenty to do in that decade …

 

And the ’90s. So perfect, yet so baffling in hindsight.

 

A scene from the Kiewit Haunted House in ’95 …

 

Haunts and bashes abounded …

 

At the dawn of a new millennium … a video dance party.

The ’00s …

 

As Smash Mouth — a defining artist of the era — once said, “So much to do, so much to see …”

 

And finally, a popular Creighton Halloween tradition that carries on today — the Haunted Physics Lab!

Happy Halloween from Creighton University!

Have more Creighton Halloween photos you’d like us to include? Contact micahmertes [at] creighton [dot] edu

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