Homecoming in the Haunted Mansion: What to expect from homecoming week 2022.


Photo by: Molly DeHaven

The Student Council Association officially announced the Halloween Homecoming theme during Feature Friday on Sep 23, but going beyond the video teaser, what can students expect out of the uniquely spooky theme?

Homecoming week is quickly approaching, meaning that the yearly traditions of spirit week themes, hallway decorating, and fall pep rallies are not far away either. The Student Council Association, along with the class advisory boards are in charge of coordinating and carrying out these events. 

The theme for homecoming this year, halloween, is distinctive and appropriate for the late October date. Homecoming will be held in the Potomac Falls gymnasium on Saturday, Oct 22 at 8pm, and the week leading up will be filled with spooky festivities. 

The theme of Homecoming dictates the spirit days, stairway decorating categories, pep rally activities, and the overall decor of the actual dance. The SCA decides the theme each year by coming up with a couple of categories and allowing the student body to decide. This year, the themes that were up for consideration included “Disco,” “Candyland,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and “Halloween.” The list was originally eight themes long, but the SCA “cut the list down to four to make it less overwhelming for students to choose from,” according to SCA Creative Director, junior Lily Jacobs. 

SCA President, junior Arjun Setty, wanted to make it a priority to get more student input when planning large scale student events such as Homecoming. “ I’m super excited about planning the dance itself. This is our first indoor homecoming since 2019, and we have some really cool ideas as to what we’re going to have at the dance itself. We’re all visionaries in SCA so there are going to be a lot of new elements in this year’s homecoming dance, and it won’t be like any other,” said Setty.

What exactly would a Halloween themed week entail? The planning process looks different this year, with Halloween being a distinctive theme, but the culture of Halloween is immense and elements will definitely be pulled into different aspects of the week. “Coming up with spirit weeks and hallway decorations to fit the theme. It definitely is stressful at times to step outside of the box creativity wise, but it’s usually coming from a place of eustress,” said Jacobs. Homecoming is one of the big fall events that the SCA primarily plans, with help from class officers and members of class advisory boards. When ideas are made for spirit days, pep rally games, and dance decoration, it is all coming from the creativity of SCA members.

“Halloween isn’t your typical homecoming theme, which is why we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to strike a balance between your traditional homecoming and this year’s theme,” said Setty. The exact details are still up in the air, but some prospective ideas for the annual Homecoming pep rally activities include a game of sharks and minnows, relay races, and lip sync battles.

Perhaps the greatest rivalry between grades comes from the Homecoming stairwell decorating tradition, which will be replaced this year with hallway decorating instead. Whereas classes are usually given a specific “genre” within the overarching theme to decorate their stairwell with, this year the competition will be based on what class can create the scariest looking hallway, based on different Halloween movies.

The culmination of all the time spent decorating hallways, planning for pep rallies, and dressing up for spirit days will take place at the actual Homecoming dance. The plan for the look of the dance itself has been creatively developed, with even the tickets going along with the Halloween theme. “Tickets will look like invites to a party in a haunted mansion- really striking the older halloween movies type of vibe. The decor inside will be classy enough to keep the ambience of a traditional homecoming, but design elements like lighting, fog machines, and scary decorations will be used to tie the theme in in a nice, non-jarring way,” said Setty. 

But it may not just be the decorations that look different this year. Another piece of insight regarding what the dance will be like has to do with the entertainment. This year, it is expected that there will be live performances from student bands in addition to the typical DJ. 

This unique theme will definitely bring a new look to how Homecoming week is celebrated, but those involved in planning it can ensure that it will live up to expectations. “SCA is super excited about how we can use our full creative freedom this year to plan something that really hasn’t been done before. This is going to be a totally new homecoming week, balancing tradition with brand-new events. Seeing this all come together will be truly spectacular,” said Setty.