Penn State Halloween Costumes of Years Past

Photo posted by @psubarstool on Instagram

Halloweekend 2019 has come and gone, but before we put away the pumpkins and start hanging up the wreaths, let’s take a moment to look back at the most timely Penn State Halloweekend costumes of years past.

Photo from Cincinnati Zoo

The year of 2016 was full of memes and big moments for the university. The “Harambe” meme was big in 2016, unsurprisingly making it a popular Halloween costume in October. Harambe was a 17-year-old gorilla who was shot after grabbing a three-year-old boy who climbed into his enclosure, prompting many people to call for justice for Harambe — eventually turning him into one of the biggest memes of 2016.

One of the biggest moments in Penn State’s world in 2016 was the football team’s victory over Ohio State. Because this happened on Oct. 22, just days before Halloweekend, many students were inspired to wear Penn State jerseys on the holiday to represent the team’s big win and to make a nod to the riots that happened in Beaver Canyon shortly afterward.


A major event in 2017 came in the form of the solar eclipse on Aug. 21. The country donned eclipse glasses and looked to the sky to see the first visible eclipse across the entire United States since 1918. Many individuals at Penn State took this major event and used it as their inspiration for Halloween costumes, giving their eclipse glasses another use on Halloweekend.

Photo by Patrick Mansell for Penn State News

Mike the Mailman, an iconic Penn State figure, retired from his post a year prior, but Halloweekend 2017 was an opportunity for many students to pay him tribute in the form of costumes inspired by the famous mailman.

Photo from

The super popular video game “Fortnite” was released in September 2018, prompting many Penn State students to dress as characters from the game and flex their Fortnite dances on Halloweekend. 

To keep in line with popular entertainment influencing Penn State students’ Halloween costumes in 2018, many channeled their inner Wonder Woman. Although the movie starring Gal Gadot was released in June 2017, it remained popular throughout the next year and inspired many to dress like the superhero in 2018.


Each year it seems that Halloween costumes worn by Penn State students get crazier and more creative. At any given Penn State bar or Halloween party, you could see a sea of Kylie Jenners, glitter-clad “Euphoria” characters, Ashley O’s (from Miley Cyrus’ episode of “Black Mirror”) and even trios of Jonas Brothers, Penn State’s biggest fans.

Every Penn State Halloweekend promises some zany costumes, and VALLEY is already excited for what’s to come next year.



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