Halloween is not just a holiday for the kids

While little ghouls and goblins prepared for a night of trick or treating and innocent fun, another side of Halloween was also brewing this year.

The 18+ crowd is gearing up for one of the biggest party nights of the year.

Halloween has picked up momentum over the years and is no longer a holiday just for collecting candy and experiencing a fright or two.

It has also become a holiday with a sexier, darker side.

But what is the draw? What makes partying on Halloween so much better than any other night of the year?

“You know when people drink and they do things they wouldn’t normally do?” says SAIT student Brandon Ersten,

“Well imagine what that drunk person will now do when they are also hidden behind a costume?

“It’s liberating.”

Halloween has become the one night of the year when a person can become whomever, or whatever, they want to be.

Psychologist Connie Clough says the combination of costumes and alcohol is the perfect recipe for a loss of inhibitions.

“For some people, it’s an opportunity to pretend to be something that’s appealling to them,” she says.

“Pretending exercises the right side of your brain which leads to relaxation, and actually has a calming effect on people. Exercising the right side of your brain is good for your mental health.”

Post-secondary campuses and bars around the city stepped up to facilitate an environment perfect for this form of exercise.

Mount Royal University (MRU) hosted a Haunted House on Oct. 31 at Wyckham House.

SAIT’s campus bar, The Gateway, staged a trio of Halloween events over the pre-Halloween weekend.

On Oct. 26, July Talk took to the stage for a live concert.

Students ‘monster mashed’ their way across the dance floor at the Full Moon party on Oct.29.

And on the spookiest night of the year, the Gateway was open with staff in costumes, decorations strewn throughout the bar and Halloween specials on the menu.

Although Halloween is a huge night for most bars and clubs, food and beverage manager at the Gateway, Paul Dudar, says Halloween is isn’t one of the bar’s bigger events.

“Because we operate events year-round, we try not to compete with the other ‘big players’ in parties,” he says.

“Some bars will spend thousands on trying to lure guests into their bar for one huge night.

“Our approach is to operate many events with guaranteed profit, as opposed to putting all of our eggs in one basket, for one night, which is also when the competition in the city is the highest.”

Despite the smaller scale of the Gateway’s events, the night still attracted good crowds, and their wallets.

About Lynsey Hanrahan 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Lynsey Hanrahan worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2012-2013 academic year.