How to Stay Safe on Campus on Halloween

Halloween is great for eating candy and going to costume parties, but it can also be a dangerous night. Here are some tips to stay safe this Halloween

Halloween is one of the most recognized holidays in America. Target starts stocking up on costumes, decorations, and candy by August. We spend our days carving pumpkins and watch Hocus Pocus at night. We flock to haunted houses and watch horror movies because we love all things spooky, at least in situations we can control—not so much with the scary things we can’t.There’s always a spike in crime around Halloween, which is the bad kind of scary. It’s important to be cautious all year round of course, but it’s especially important during Halloween and the days leading up to the holiday. Here are some tips on how to stay safe on a dark and stormy campus.

Know your campus’s resources

The spike in crime the week leading up to Halloween isn’t exclusive to teenagers egging houses. Especially in college, this rise relates to underage drinking, DUIs, and sexual assaults. This is why it's important to know what resources your campus offers. Sign up for text alerts or download apps regarding campus safety alerts. This will let you know if something happens somewhere on campus so you can avoid it.

Each campus has different ways of reporting crime. Information about campus safety and crime statistics must be available to students at institutions receiving federal funding and can usually be found on a college or university’s website. See what shuttle services are offered to get you around campus. Each system is unique, so it's important to figure out exactly what your school has to offer.

It’s also important to be able to defend yourself if you’re attacked, so learning self-defense could be vital to your personal safety. Many campuses offer free or inexpensive classes. A popular program on many campuses is Rape Aggression Defense Systems (RAD). You can see if there are any programs on campus or at another location near you here.

If you can’t find a class to take, watch one of the hundreds of videos online to help you learn some self-defense moves. These probably won’t work on the ghosts haunting your dorm, but they could help save you from a different kind of monster.

Related: 6 Ways to Stay Safe on Your Way to Night Classes

Halloween parties

We all know “Halloweekend” is a popular time for huge parties in college. There are many things to steer clear from at these parties, and all of them are things that have been drilled into your brain, but that’s because they’re so important.

If you go to a party, never leave your drink unattended or accept an open one from someone else. It doesn’t matter if it’s an alcoholic drink or not. Also, don’t wear a costume that’s too hard to move in. Not only will it be uncomfortable, but it can restrict your movement too much in case you need to get away quickly.

If you plan on drinking (remember that the legal drinking age is 21), find a safe ride home. Don’t become another depressing statistic. Your campus probably has a shuttle or discounted/free taxi service available so you can get back to your dorm safely and avoid getting a DUI.

If these services aren’t available on your campus, ask a trusted sober friend (designated driver) to bring you home. Companies like Uber and Lyft are also options, but be careful using these services. Avoid riding in one alone, especially while inebriated, and share your ride information with a friend if you do.

Related: The Do’s and Don’ts of College Partying

Stay alert

You’ve probably heard this a million times, but it’s vital to be aware of your surroundings. Fight the urge to check your phone when you’re walking, especially late at night. Keep an eye out and be aware what’s going on around you, like who’s doing what at the Halloween party. Use the same buddy system you’ve been using since your first kindergarten field trip: there is safety in numbers.

If you have to go somewhere alone, especially at night, make sure a friend or your roommate knows exactly where you’re going to be and when to expect you back. Apps like Find My Friends and Google Maps that allow location sharing in real time are especially helpful in these cases.

See something, say something

If you see something sketchy, report it. There’s a good chance your school has resources online that make reporting easy and anonymous. This could prevent the same thing from happening to someone else. Even if a big group of people all see the same thing, that doesn’t always guarantee it will be reported. Be the one to do something.

Related: Campus Safety: The Non-List

Halloween is a fun time, so enjoy your candy apples and bad scary movies, but remember to educate yourself on things to look out for. There is no way to guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen on or off campus, but being prepared offers a good chance of prevention.

Have a happy (and safe) Halloween! And if you need some last-minute help, here are some quick costumes you can try.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Tayler Butters

Tayler Butters

Tayler Butters is a high school student with a passion for music, photography, and writing. She loves spending her time in church and with her golden retriever, Lilly.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Amari Toussaint

Amari Toussaint

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress helped me narrow my school choices down from 10 schools to four and then two. It also gave me information on a school I had never heard about or thought about attending until now, which is the school I will be attending in the fall. I am thankful for CollegeXpress and its helpful tools.

Maria  Fernanda

Maria Fernanda

High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress is always telling you with time to spare when to apply for certain scholarships, what they require, and if you’re eligible or not. They also provide helpful tips for both incoming college students and current college students, such as what to absolutely have in your dorm.

Daniel Ogunlokun

Daniel Ogunlokun

High School Class of 2022

When I started looking at colleges in the beginning of my senior year, I was conflicted about which ones I wanted to attend based on safety, tuition costs, location, academic rigor, and prestige. Searching the internet and getting more questions than answers, I came across CollegeXpress, which made all the steps I had taken look like a minor issue. Everything was summarized and detailed, and I couldn't be more thankful and appreciative.

Wendy Thompson

Wendy Thompson

Owner, Westport Educational Consulting

I just discovered your site and LOVE it—fun, interesting, full of incredible information you can’t find anywhere else, and a godsend for those of us in the college counseling business. I am a fan!

Kyla McClain

Kyla McClain

High School Class of 2024

I found CollegeXpress when you partnered with for a scholarship. I found your website, put my information in, and got connected. I only wanted to stay in North Carolina [for college] and not move far from home, but you all opened a door up for me. I started researching colleges you suggested for me. On your social media platforms, you also give really good test-taking tips that I used and suggested others to do the same. It helped me a lot on my exams, so thank you.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Asbury University

Wilmore, KY

Bishop's University

Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

Geneva College

Beaver Falls, PA