Haunted History

On Monday in AP US History, Mr. Venezia’s students underwent a transformation.


Kat Klinefelter

APUSH period 2

Brady Crow, Staff Writer

Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson’s pet parrot, a system of checks and balances, and a box of tea aren’t exactly costumes that the average high school student would consider wearing to a Halloween party.  But when bonus points and candy bars were on the line at last Monday’s Annual AP US History Halloween Party, Room 316 could have been mistaken for the National Museum of American History.

In Mr. Mark Venezia’s AP US History classes, bonus points were offered to any student who dressed up in a US history-themed costume for Halloween.  Students could choose to represent any person, place, or event from America’s vast history.  In addition to bonus points, a costume contest was hosted, with candy bars going to the most creative, humorous, and original costumes. 

“I first did the ‘annual’ AP History Halloween Party three years ago,” Venezia said. “Then Covid hit.  I didn’t do it the last two years and re-instituted it this year.”

So, where would a high school student go to find a historical costume? Many in Venezia’s class chose to create their own using household supplies.  Some were lucky enough to have a costume left over from years past.

Junior Theo Wilkinson dawned the attire of Alexander Hamilton, a prominent member of George Washington’s cabinet.  Although he went all out with his costume, it wasn’t too much of a hassle to obtain.

Students appreciate silliness, even in 11th and 12th grade. The second I no longer am into that, it is time to think about retiring.

— Mr. Venezia, APUSH teacher

“I had all this stuff just lying around from previous use, and I wanted to put it to good use again in APUSH,” Wilkinson said.

Some costumes this year made a triumphant return from Halloweens past.  

 “I was Hillary Clinton in 4th grade,” Collin Wang said. “I had the mask, and I needed to use it again.”

With three different students winning awards in each of Venezia’s six classes, Venezia found it difficult to choose the very best costume at the end of the day on Monday.

“I had some great ones this year,” he said. “Mostly, they were conceptual costumes rather than specific people.  Among the solid entries this year were a Fireside Chat, Paul Revere and his horse (two students), the Treaty of Tordesillas (two students), the Columbian Exchange (several students), and Thomas Jefferson’s dead moose (long story…).”

Venezia explained that, while the rules are simple, the challenge is to be inventive.

“I love creativity in costumes, and since the parameters are that A) it has to be US history, B) it cannot be contemporary, and C) it must be appropriate, there are always a bunch of Abe Lincolns and always a bunch of Rosie the Riveters, but there are originals in each class as well,” he said.

 So while juniors and seniors no longer trick-or-treat and Halloween marches around the school are a distant memory, there is still a place where they can celebrate the season.

 “I think the party is a good time. Students appreciate silliness, even in 11th and 12th grade,” Venezia said. “The second I no longer am into that, it is time to think about retiring.”