The festivities of Halloween started off with a Hall of Horrors event on campus. It was hosted by The Center for Social Justice and Community Impact, and it was curated by Caleigh Grogan ’18, Jasmine Silva-Jones ’18, Cassie Peltola ’18 and the area coordinator, Dani Roberts. The event was held at The Base from Oct. 22 to 26 — an entire school week, full of fright!
On exhibit in the Hall of Horrors were costumes “that scare us not with blood and gore, but with their cultural insensitivity,” said Grogan. “We tried to display costumes that mocked, belittled, or appropriated in any way, a marginalized identity.” The designs were of controversy to race, sexuality, religion, disability, incarceration and personal-national tragedy. One of the main features was blackface, as a recall to last year’s incident on campus. However, there was a lot to see on display. It was a wide selection of antipathy.
Students were horrified by the costumes and volunteered their reactions on Thursday, Oct. 25. It was a nice activity of collaboration and communication for the event. Most remarks were on how unpleasant the garb was. Yet a few asked why some of the costumes were offensive in the first place. It shows that Wheaton has “work to do as a campus on education around appropriation and marginalized identities,” said Grogan. “These questions lead to some good discussions and give us an idea of what to focus on moving forward.”
Along with the Hall of Horrors, a consignment sale was hosted on Friday, Oct. 26. The “costume shop” was designed with “a dual purpose,” said Grogan. It helped students craft or add to their costumes, and it gave students the opportunity to make sure their costumes did not belong in the Hall of Horrors.
While these events are new to campus, they will return in spooky spirit or vampiric variation next year!