By Charity Webster, Contributing Writer.
Halloween is just around the corner with so many fun things to do this holiday season. What peaks your interest? Is it to dress up, go to a party, or just eat a bunch of candy? Maybe you want to have a marathon of scary films or hang out with your friends at a haunted house or hayride? Maybe all of the above!
The holiday brings a whole world of mystery and fun. Did you know that you originally had to dance for your “treat”? Or that Halloween used to be a great day to find your soulmate? Studies have shown that the holiday actually makes kids act more evil, and that a full moon on Halloween is extremely rare. What’s next? Farmington is full of spookiness too. Some people believe the ghost of Lillian Nordica haunts the halls of Merrill. Whatever your fancy, there is so much to do this season in Farmington and right on campus! Check out below:
All year around:
The point of this club is for its members to come together under the enjoyment of the horror genre in all of its forms, including but not limited to: film and television, literature, role playing, and video games. In addition to an appreciation and discussion of all of the above, the club intends to work on its own agendas for events to involve both the UMF student community as well as the community of Farmington and the surrounding towns. Meetings are Wednesdays at 8pm. Contact Paul Gies, the faculty advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org
October 7th from 7-9pm
“Mission Imagination” Electric Violin Concert and Discussion. Led by Electro-acoustic violist and David Bowie Collaborator Martha Mooke, this event is a concert and discussion of Bowie’s work and creative process. Free at the Emery Community Arts Center
Oktoberfest at Saddleback Maine. Visit their website for more details: https://www.saddlebackmaine.com/event/oktoberfest/
October 20th from 7pm-9pm
Full Moon Hike put on by University of Maine Farmington
“Get out and Horror Soundtracks” by Aaron Wyanski, composer, pianist, and Assistant Professor of Music Composition UMF. According to the New Commons Project page: “critical exploration of soundtrack of horror fills over the last century”
October 29th from 4pm-6pm
Trunk or Treat Put on by the Rotaract club 4pm-6pm. A safe place to bring your kiddos trick or treating! Located in the parking lot behind the Fusion Center.
October 22 & 23, and 29 & 30th
Haunted House at the Farmington Fairgrounds. Fright Nights 7pm-10pm, $20 admission fee. If Halloween is your scare come check us out! According to Mainehauntedhouses.com: “Join us for this mind blowing, never before seen Halloween event! Three separate terrifying haunted houses in one location, one ticket to rule them all!… FREE Parking! Beer and Cider for those over 21. Vendors! Food! Axe throwing!”
This event is also looking for Volunteers, and benefits The United Way of the Tri Valley Area as well as Titcomb Mountain.
Visit the Apple Orchards in the area all through the month of October!
Pick your own pumpkins and apples, enjoy some goodies, hayrides, and corn mazes
Morrison Hill Orchard from 12pm-4pm Daily
Pick your own apples or pumpkins or pick up some fresh pressed cider.
Boothby’s Orchard and Farm from 10am-5pm Daily
A unique experience to the area that includes wine tasting made from their apples and their grapes. Also come pick your own apples and pumpkins.
Ricker Hill Orchards from 9am-6pm Daily
Pick your own apples and pumpkins, play a round of disc golf, and pick up some of their famous apple cider donuts.
Zion Hodgkin Contributing Writer
Amidst the flashing strobe lights and roaring jams of the last two years, you could almost forget you were standing in a school cafeteria.
Every year, on the last Saturday before Halloween, UMF’s Association for Campus Entertainment (ACE) club transforms the Student Center into a spooky celebration. The Halloween dance has been one of the most anticipated annual events held at the school for the last few years. “A bunch of people show up,” said Madison Vigeant, one of the members of the ACE club putting the event together, “we usually have like 400 to 500 people every year.”
Sarah Szantyr, another member, chimed in saying, “And that includes students at the school, and also guests. I think we usually have about 100 to 150 guests each year.”
Inside the dance, it’s clear which of these students had been there before, as they immediately made their way to the front of the room, right before the stage, and started dancing, their costumes and accessories swinging around them.
“The dance has been going on for quite a long time,” Vigeant said, “at least five years, I would say, [but] probably ten.”
Szantyr nodded slightly. “It’s been going on since we’ve been here. This will be our third year putting it on.”
A student walked up to the table by the entrance to the dance, where Vigeant sat, and investigated the baskets brimming with items at the end of the table. “They’re the prizes for the costume contest,” Vigeant said with a kind smile. “We have a few different categories that you can enter for.” She leaned down, as if re-checking the contents of the baskets and continued, “We have scariest costume, a free one [where you can enter with any costume], funniest, couple, another couple, and most creative.”
Alexis Ramee sporting her makeup, which won scariest costume. (Photo courtesy of Alexis Ramee)
Nodding excitedly, the student grabbed an entry form and began to fill it out.
“The costume contest has been happening for awhile too,” said Vigeant. “Last year was the first year we did it where I was involved. But if I were going to guess, the costume contest started a few years after the dance did. Maybe once the dance did well for a couple years.”
The costume contest has since become an iconic part of the Halloween dance, with most students signing up as they enter the event, and the night ending with the announcement winners. “We close the contest at midnight, and they stop the music for the announcement at 12:15 to 12:30,” Vigeant says, “and if the winner isn’t here, they’ll get an email, and can come pick up their prizes next week.”
Winner of scariest costume, junior visual arts major Alexis Ramee, left the dance before the winners were announced and woke up a week later to an email indicating that she won. “It made me really happy,” she said. “It made my morning.”
With a talent for special effects makeup and a preferred horror aesthetic, Ramee used liquid latex and polymorph plastic to create the illusion that her face had been split down a central seam and opening around her mouth. The look was meant to symbolize the importance of speaking a truth, even if it means tearing your mouth open to speak. “Generally I had pretty good reactions [to my costume], there were a couple of people that were slightly scared but I never, like, terrified anyone,” she said.
Even the campus police officers monitoring the entrance were taken aback by Ramee’s makeup. “Oh, they loved it,” Ramee said. “Even Brian Ufford was like, ‘Good makeup!’” While she said that she hadn’t seen anyone with makeup to compete with hers, she enjoyed the comedy of seeing two students dressed as bananas accompanying another dressed as a gorilla, as well as two Waldo’s. “It was just a really fun night to get away from all the school work.”
Darby Murnane in Medusa paint. (Photo courtesy of Darby Murnane)
As a dance full of partying college students naturally earns a reputation for crazy sights and stories, Szantyr and Vigeant reflect on what they’ve witnessed in years passed. “We don’t have any personal funny stories from the dances we’ve been around for,” Szantyr said, “but we were told on our first year of putting on the dance, that there would be a lot of people that were not fully aware of our surroundings,” she smiles a bit slyly and turns to look at Vigeant before continuing, “if you know what I mean.”
Vigeant shot back a smirk in response, as though she knew exactly what Szantyr meant, then added “Oh, also, one year an ACE member saw a girl beat up a pumpkin right outside of the dance.”
By Bryan Eldridge – Contributing Writer
UMF students all around campus transformed from their everyday selves into entirely new identities as costumes arose from the dead for another year of the spectacular Halloween Dance.
Every year, UMF holds a Halloween themed dance for students to help get into the holiday spirit and give creative minds on campus a spotlight during a fun and popular time of year. While many shared the intent of going to the dance, almost nobody arrived with the exact same costume.
“I thought it was really interesting to see all the different variations,” said Katie Franke, a UMF freshman dressed as Daphne from Scooby-Doo. “Some people came up with really creative costume ideas.”
The dance is often a great time for many friends to get together for the same event. “I liked how so many people came together,” said Franke. “It wasn’t just some event where no one showed up, everyone was there,” Franke said with enthusiasm.
Franke’s residence hall, Mallett, was one of many to hold fun social events before the dance to keep the students excited about the evening.
“We carved pumpkins, we played [ping] pong with skeletons, we had snacks and people talked [with one another]” Franke added.
Harry Potter even made the cut at the dance, as Dolores Umbridge was found within Mallett Hall. Tommy Hainsworth found the costume very fitting for the popular movie hit.
Tom Cruise from Risky Business and a friendly scarecrow shared a laugh together before they grooved their way into the Halloween Dance. For these two, the stress relief was a much-needed break from everyday life.
“Our favorite part was letting loose and having fun!” said Preston, a first-year student at UMF through an online forum.
The wide variety of costumes at the dance is something that many students look forward to each year and is what often brings them back. Rebecca Reed and Hope Faulkingham, both freshman this year, found this particularly true.
“I had fun with my friends. I think I would go back again next year to see the wide variety of costumes,” said Reed.
“I really wanted to go because it seemed like a lot of people were going and it seemed like fun!” Faulkingham exclaimed with excitement.
Three referees found themselves officiating the noise and excitement levels as they made their own rulings at the dance.
From L to R: Ian Kelly, Spencer Wilkinson, and Bryan Eldridge made their call on this year’s dance.
Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Reed
The dance takes place each year at UMF around Halloween time and is sure to be an event you don’t want to miss. For more photos and videos from this year’s dance, visit the Entertainment Redefined Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/ERTour/