When it comes to Halloween, I always ask the 4 H’s.

Hallowhat? Hallowhen? Hallowhere? Hallowhy?


At Goshen College, the question of “Hallowhen?” is of particular importance. Halloween did not take place on Oct. 31, as it did in other plebian conformist parts of the country. Instead, it took place on Nov. 1, at Howell House’s “spooky” annual celebration, Howell-o-Ween.

Howell-o-Ween is, as we well know, a phenomenon fraught with terrors. The most terrifying terror of all is pronouncing “Howelloween” without embarrassing yourself in front of your peers. “Halloweween. Howellelleween. Howlowlowloneen?”

On Saturday, Nov. 1, at 10:15 p.m., I realized that Hollawelloween had already begun. Throwing on a vest, a brown blazer, and a name tag that read “Joan D. Roth, Womennonite Herstorian,” I gathered my remaining feminist wits and headed over to Howleelleloween.

Once I crossed the threshold into Howawallaween, I caught sight of Bob Switzer, campus pastor, and was instantly struck by the notion that I should have dressed as the campus communicator. I would keep this idea to myself, but I’m a senior, and I’m not going to be a super senior next year. So, take note: this would be a great costume.

I continued my descent into Helloween, much like Dante before me. As an introvert, I always enjoy elbowing my way through throngs of people in a small, crowded space.

Suddenly, I was snagged by an Alia emoji and thrust in front of a camera. I did my best to arrange my facial features in a camera-ready way, but was woefully unprepared. I escaped.

I diligently waded through the masses in the direction of the kitchen. There, I was delighted to see a metal container labeled “hot chocolate.” I grabbed a styrofoam cup, carefully hiding it from my environmental science major friends.

Then, assuming I would receive hot chocolate in a liquid state, as many had before me, I pushed down the lever to receive a steady stream of nothing. I tipped the container forward and a couple of drops of chocolate smudge landed in the bottom of my styrofoam cup.

Disappointment ensued.

After 10 minutes, feeling like I had fulfilled my social duty for the entire month, I decided to leave. I had nearly reached the door when my path was blocked by a controversial horse.

When I at last reached the porch, I took one last dramatic look at the crowded building.

“That was one frightening Hallewowleween, indeed,” I said to my comrades.

Disappointed by the lack of Howell/Kenwood rivalry jokes, I left, aghast.