How is Halloween celebrated in the USA?

On the night of October 31, as every year, one of the most popular holidays in the USA is celebrated. Halloween.

This holiday of Celtic origin and not American as most people think, is celebrated in the U.S. in style. However, due to the pandemic we are all familiar with, this year will not be the same. As many as 37 high-impact events have already been cancelled across the country, including parades in New York, Louisville and Disneyland.

No doubt this year will be different, but surely, to a lesser extent, they will be able to continue with their celebration and have a terrifying night and eat some candy. Below, we tell you how Halloween night is experienced in the USA.

Pumpkin decorations

How is Halloween celebrated in the USA?

Source: Flickr

How is Halloween celebrated in the USA?

Source: Shelby Black

The traditional Halloween pumpkins were also known by jack-o’-lantern, which referred to an evil spirit that roamed the houses asking for “trick-or-treaters”. The legend recommended accepting the “deal” because if not, he would use his powers to curse the house and its inhabitants, giving them all kinds of misfortunes and curses, such as making the family sick, killing the livestock with pests or even burning the house itself. This is why the idea of decorating pumpkins with horrifying shapes was born, to terrify evil spirits and protect themselves.

Today it is another traditional holiday and people are encouraged to decorate their gardens and houses with illuminated pumpkins with amazing designs. Most universities also have pumpkin contests to test the creativity of their students.


As in all festivities, food is a must. On this occasion, sweets predominate, especially caramel apples.
Apple pies and sweets such as muffins and cookies, always decorated with the theme, are a must in American homes during this holiday season.
In addition, children go around the houses trick-or-treating and collecting hundreds of candies that they will enjoy in the coming weeks.

University Halloween Traditions

Halloween is one of the most fun parties you will have during your college experience. The campuses of American universities are usually very decorated and also usually hold large parties and events, where you can not miss the costumes.

Here are 6 traditions in American universities:

How is Halloween celebrated in the USA?

MIT’s annual pumpkin drop. Famous for its pumpkin drop from the university tower. Students climb to the top of the tower and launch more than 100 pumpkins to a height of 90 meters.

Georgetown University’s Healy Howl, which is where “The Exorcist” was filmed, has traditions related to the movie. Every year all the students get together and visit the cemetery.

3.- University of Rochester’s library. Legend has it that the ghost of a worker who worked there during the construction of the building can be found there. Pete Nicosia fell from the bookstore tower and died, but years later they say there were several sightings of Pete around the bookstore, so it is said that his ghost remains in the bookstore. Every year, they prepare a fair and scavenger hunt, where the winners win a terrifying tour of the bookstore where they can also enjoy candy and donuts.

4.- Pennsylvania State University Pumpkin Festival. In the botanical garden “Arboretum” of the university a competition of decorated pumpkins is held every year. The university gives away more than 1,000 pumpkins to participants who register. Once the event is held, the university awards 3 participants per category. In addition to this, they organize various workshops for families and children, such as face painting, games, crafts and magic.

UCLA’s All Hill Halloween. The university invites more than 2,500 children from the state’s most economically disadvantaged schools and high schools to walk around campus in costume, visiting the various halls where they will have their baskets filled with candy and sweets. University students join the party and prepare by decorating all the buildings and buying hundreds of candies in anticipation of the arrival of these children.

6.- Halloween in Franklin St. in Chapel Hill. North Carolina students in Chapel Hill dress up in their best costumes and flock to this famous street where locals and college students alike stroll up and down the street in a festive atmosphere. A simple “spontaneous” mass gathering that serves as an event that brings the community together.


As we said before, not all states will organize festivals and big events this year. The decision comes with the idea of reducing crowds of people where the virus can spread further.

Under normal conditions, all states organize events for all audiences. Here are the most popular places to visit during the month of October in the U.S. and enjoy a Halloween atmosphere in the most purely American style.

How is Halloween celebrated in the USA?

The Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze: Spectacular event in the Hudson Valley where families, adults and children can enjoy a unique Halloween experience. In this place there is a whole exhibition of more than 7000 pumpkins sculpted by artists, spider webs, planetariums, sculptures, screens…

Orlando theme parks: SeaWorld Orlando, Legoland Florida and Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom. They organize parties for all families, children fill their pockets with goodies and enjoy various attractions. Adults can also have fun at Universal Orlando Resort where the focus is more on seniors.

Buena Park, California: This city that transforms into “Boo-uena Park”. Its most famous landmark during this epic is “Knott’s Scary Farm”, considered the largest theme park in the country. It includes mazes, attractions and zombie experience.

Sleepy Hollow, New York: The famous town of the headless horseman is one of those places you can visit on Halloween. In this small town in the Hudson Valley, 40 minutes by subway from New York, you will find decorated streets, haunted mansions, sculptures of the headless horseman…

Salem, Massachusetts: Known for the 1692 Witch Trials in which 20 men and women were convicted of practicing witchcraft. If you enter the “Witch Museum” you will be able to better understand witchcraft, its perceptions, interpretations and the famous phenomenon called “witch hunts”. Interesting visit for many travelers in search of magic.

Despite not being a holiday of American origin, Halloween has become a holiday celebrated throughout the United States. and with an enormous impact. We recommend (under normal conditions without pandemic) that if you are there at this time of the year, enjoy it to the fullest and participate in the various events and festivals. It will certainly be a nice experience.