USP Halloween 2014: Carnival of Screams

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By Maggie Ng

Photographs by Michel Lim

It is not every day you step into a lift drenched in ghostly red light streaming down from above, lending everyone in it an eerie, chilling air.

Neither is it every day you enter a lobby decorated with countless handcrafted bats and coloured flags of various hues, giving what was a rustic-looking hangout spot an interesting touch of mirth.

Aha! It is that time of the year again – the time where creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky happenings envelop you in glee. It’s the time when it is socially acceptable to sport gigantic lipstick smudges all across your face in a bid to imitate a demented clown, and the time when you can blow-dry your curly locks and transform them into a hipster Afro (much to the joy and laughter of your innumerous fangirls).

Over here in Cinnamon College, we gladly welcome the season of jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating and horror movies – Halloween.

While the Chua Thian Poh Hall (CTPH) is usually the venue for sporting events or academic musings, on just one special night, it was transformed into a lively scene – a perfect opportunity for many to take a short break away from studies.

Instead of the usual bare wooden walls, there were streamers, balloons, smiley skeletons and paper spiders giving the CTPH a refreshing and chirpy vibe. Near the entrance, there were rows of complimentary jellies, drinks and cookies, tempting anyone to enter and soak in the festive atmosphere.

With the allure of prizes for best-dressed male and female of the night, there was undeniably a plethora of remarkable costumes unleashed all around Cinnamon.

Instead of the usual school shirt and shorts one usually dons around RC, there were superheroes like Thor, Storm and Spiderman, creepy dolls, mad scientists, mime artists, Optimus Prime, frizzy-haired wizards and Wonka nerds, to name a few. Many enthusiastically took the opportunity to snap pictures at the photo booth station set up in a corner to capture the priceless moments of the night.

The main event in the CTPH was the exciting music performances lined up for an eager audience. Be it famous rock numbers or timeless musicals, the talented performers poured their heart and soul into each song, giving USP’s version of Halloween a homely and cozy feel.

There were even occasional spontaneous guest appearances from the audience, who could not help but join the performers onstage and rock out together with them. Thanks to the hilarious emcee, the crowd broke out in peals of laughter, and ripples of cheer concluded the night of Halloween celebrations in the CTPH.

In case you thought the Halloween celebration in USP was all snug and light-hearted, you could not have been more wrong. To bring in the spine-chilling and hair-raising Halloween experience, there was a haunted house and a Plants Versus Zombies game located around the learn lobes. Overall, many felt that the haunted house was thrilling and enjoyed the experience despite the queuing.

According to Teng Kai Wen, a Psychology student and daredevil, “The haunted house was pretty scary. I think the organisers did an awesome job at it.”

Some thought that the game could have been more exciting, but agreed that it was a good opportunity to hang out with friends especially after a hectic school day.

Karthikeyan Shanmugam, an Engineering student cum Most Eligible Bachelor in USP, commented on the games, “It was very fun and I appreciate the committee for the hard work they put in.”

While Halloween in USP may not possess the wild party, booze-soaked atmosphere one often sees in movies and sitcoms, we made up for it with an evening of relaxed cheer and intimacy with friends. The scare factor was just right and the marvelous decorations put a perfect finishing touch to the entire Halloween package.

Spearheaded by Pharmacy student Olivia Lin, there were many hurdles that hampered their way before the event finally came to fruition.

“It was a really stressful period – my committee members were busy with schoolwork, and were afflicted by manpower and logistics shortage during the event itself. It was especially bad during the red lights fiasco,” Lin said.

“However, we managed to iron out the kinks at the last minute. We are glad that we are able to organise a successful event for the community to enjoy,” Lin said.

A huge thank you to the organising committee for bringing the Cinnamon College residents a much-needed respite amidst the flurry of school activities!

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