How Universities Celebrated Halloween in 2018

As a long time horror fan, Halloween is one of the most wonderful times of year. Pre-dadhood it was a time to watch scary movie marathons late in to the night; or to head out and see what’s the oldest age it is socially acceptable to demand sweets from strangers (17 is the correct answer, 21 was pushing it).

Post-dadhood I’ve embraced the home life of attempting to carve pumpkins and significantly increasing my step count through numerous trips to the front door to distribute free diabetes one mini pack of sweets at a time.

Frankly, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also a time when universities like to get a bit spooky on social, let their hair down and do a little bit of brandter. So how did that look this year? Here are my highlights and low lights of Halloween for Higher Education in 2018.


Yes as a person living in the North of England, Halloween used to be about carving turnips. But that’s so MySpace. Pumpkins are way more visually appealing for social posts, and lets not kid ourselves, easier to carve. Here are just a few of the master pieces shared by universities on their social channels this Halloween.

University of Limerick went one further than a simple profile photo change and did a whole new social header on Twitter. Don’t know how they found time after dealing with all the notifications from this tweet.

A row of pumpkins carved to say #study at ul

York went with some pumpkin word art

There’s more than one way to decorate a pumpkin, including painted pumpkins at Virginia Commonwealth University.

And then we went with a classic crest (after a hectic Instagram Story the previous day getting crowd sourced suggestions)

Also, cause we could, we went 3D on Facebook to see if it got some spookier engagement (you’ll need to click through to Facebook to see the 3D magic in action)

Happy Halloween! πŸŽƒ Have you seen anything spooky on campus? πŸ§Ÿβ€β™‚οΈ πŸ§Ÿβ€β™€οΈ πŸ¦‡

SlΓ₯et op af Newcastle UniversityOnsdag den 31. oktober 2018

Carrying on the pumpkin theme, some unis showed off how the magic happened with carving timelapse videos


Shout out to UCAS for getting a pun-a-thon rolling between UK unis (check out the replies to see all the groans)

Research tips

Social 101 – hang your promo items off a current event. We all do it, but some definitely do it better than others

Informative threads

Some unis took to the twitter threads to drop some helpful Halloween #knowledge

Over on Instagram Stories, Nottingham laid out some serious signing knowledge

And on Facebook Harvard tied in the Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 200th anniversary with a sparky video

Bringing sparks to life

This Halloween, watch the electricity demonstrations that inspired Mary Shelley to create "Frankenstein."

SlΓ₯et op af Harvard University i Tirsdag den 30. oktober 2018

While Longwood brought the scares to their academics

Halloween 2018

"For no mere mortal can resist, the evil of the thriller" Longwood's Catherine Franssen explains why (and gets a lil' scare of her own)!Happy Halloween! πŸŽƒπŸ§›β€β™€οΈπŸ§Ÿβ€β™‚οΈπŸ‘»

SlΓ₯et op af Longwood University i Onsdag den 31. oktober 2018

All out video

You can always count on US unis to go one step beyond to make some big budget video

I have no idea what’s going on in this next one mind

Zippy's Halloween Adventures 2018

Happy Halloween from your favorite marsupial mascot! This year, Zippy wanted to be her favorite aviator: Amelia Earhart.

SlΓ₯et op af The University of Akron i Onsdag den 31. oktober 2018

UC Berkely used Halloween to scare you in to following them on a (dying) network.

#CALoween 2018

Follow us… if you dare! πŸ‘»πŸŽƒ #CALoween*A Social Slice production*

SlΓ₯et op af UC Berkeley i Tirsdag den 30. oktober 2018

Stranger things

This year’s IT meme, a nod to Netflix’s 80s ‘member fest Stranger Things had a few social teams getting creative.

The “spook up the campus” shot

Campus porn + Halloween = stats

The “shit forgot to do something just tweet a stock gif” method

Look, not every social team has the time or precious resource to put out some original content for a “made up” holiday. To those guys a little showcase of some of the better stock gifs used to join in the fun with minimal effort.

Honourable mentions

Not sure if it was ghouls in the system or a case of Ed Balls, but tweet of the day definitely has to go to Keele

A tweet from Keele University saying "keele"

U ok hun?

Imperial College London gets 100 nerdy dad joke Halloween points for this post on Instagram

And round of applause for UEA for dropping a stone cold indie disco classic

And that’s a wrap. If you saw any other mention worthy Halloween content from a higher education institute let me know – I’m on Twitter @thematthorne


About Matt Horne

I'm a broadcaster and social media guy who makes digital content and spends too much time on the internet so you don't have to.

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