As I stepped off the Marguerite bus onto the gravel road, I saw two strands of orange lights beckoning me toward the steps of the Stanford Mausoleum.
As I made my way to the building, I spotted a gorilla chasing a banana, black swans dancing and human-animals crawling on the ground — certainly not the sights one often associates with a graveyard.
After traversing a sea of faux animals, celebrities and monsters, I reached the venue. Cobwebs spread across the facade, and red and orange lights illuminated the sphinxes that flanked the Mausoleum. In the cool night air, students huddled and danced to the sounds of DJ Noam Ben-Avi ’13.
Clad in everything from duct tape to cardboard, hundreds of Stanford students donned their costumes last Friday to celebrate Halloween at this year’s Mausoleum Party. Through the years, the event has grown to be a Stanford tradition — our unique spin on Halloween — where students gather in a remote area on campus to partake in a festive night full of outrageous costumes, dancing and music. But how did the party become a campus tradition?
The mausoleum was constructed in 1889 as a burial ground for Leland Stanford and his family. For many years, the mausoleum was solely a place of prayer and remembrance. In the early to mid ’70s, students began to hold parties near the mausoleum around Halloween, and by the late ’80s, the party became the campus-wide event that it is today. Aside from a brief hiatus due to budget cuts from 2002 to 2005, Mausoleum Party has remained a Stanford Halloween staple, organized by the junior class cabinet.
The junior class worked to ensure that the event ran smoothly, from lighting and music to decorations and refreshments.
One of the more notable attractions was a flipbook station, a place where students could assemble their own booklet of pictures to capture snapshots from the night.
“The highlight for me was the flipbook station,” said Saguna Goel ’15. “Our dorm had a really good time taking pictures with each other, and the flipbook will help me remember all of the fun I had at Mausoleum for years to come.”
In addition to those individuals who hammed it up in front of the camera, most students had an enjoyable time at the mausoleum reveling at other people’s costumes.
“I had a lot of fun looking at other people’s costumes,” said Mary Chambers ’15.
“Halloween weekend is one of my favorite weekends at Stanford,” said Beckie Yanovsky ’13, a junior class president. “Students’ ingenuity and creativity really come out in their costume ideas. I’ve personally seen some of the most ingenious costumes on campus my last two years.”
Whether you were a witch or a wizard, a mouse or a Teletubby or even dressed as nothing special at all, the consensus was that Mausoleum 2011 was a night to remember.