Right off the bat, let me just say that I’ve never been a huge fan of Halloween. I’m not particularly fond of dressing up or anything of the spooky and scary variety, but I will tell you: I LOVE candy and all things magical/fantastical. That’s why, for the past couple years, including this year I’ve been professing my love for Harry Potter on Halloween. I’ve been a fan of the Harry Potter series for a very long time and it doesn’t hurt that U of T is basically an architectural twin of the magical universe.
For Halloween, I recommend watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets because it is one of the most classic, spooky films in the series (before the darker and scarier themes are set in the later films). In celebration of Halloween and all things spooky (including those remaining midterms), here’s the rundown on the two most Hogwarts-like buildings on campus. Whether you choose to visit for studying or dreaming about Hogwarts is your choice, but personally, I usually choose the latter. Also, because I mentioned that I love candy (love it, I really do), these buildings are rated on a scale of being most like Hogwarts to least like Hogwarts:
1 Chocolate Frog=not like Hogwarts at all and just reminds you of doing school work (bleh)
5 Chocolate Frogs=just like being at Hogwarts so much so that you’ve wondered where your wand has gone (yay)
Hart House (Rating: 4 Chocolate Frogs)
I remember stepping into Hart House for the first time and thinking, “It’s Hogwarts. I’m home.” Walking through the dimly lit hallways, I sometimes imagine I’m a Hogwarts student on my way to a class like Charms or Potions. Aside from the fact that the exterior looks like a magical castle, Hart House also has a number of rooms that resemble Hogwarts. The Hart House Library is small, cozy, and has the perfect couches for snuggling up with a good book (no restricted section, though!). Hart House also has the Great Hall, which looks exactly like the Great Hall in the Harry Potter films. Going to an event like the 5-Buck Lunch would be the perfect opportunity to eat in the Great Hall and imagine I’m feasting on the magical trays and trays of food that appear at Hogwarts. The Reading Room reminds me of the Gryffindor common room because anyone and everyone gathers there to hang out with friends, do some schoolwork, and play an occasional game of chess or two (no self-moving chess pieces, unfortunately).
University College (Rating: 3 Chocolate Frogs)
University College is also a very beautiful Hogwarts-like building, but I gave it a rating of 3 Chocolate Frogs. Like Hogwarts, UC has long, winding hallways and grand staircases, but also like Hogwarts: it can be confusing to navigate. Thankfully, there are no trick steps in the staircases (phew). Similar to Hogwarts, UC has been around a long time (since 1853) and the history is definitely a great part of the building. Imagine running away from Professor Snape in UC! He’d never find you…but you may get lost as well. I remember one Halloween, someone had written in UC, “THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS HAS BEEN OPENED. ENEMIES OF THE HEIR…BEWARE.” If that isn’t spooky, then I don’t know what is. But I guess that means that I’m not the only one that’s reminded of Hogwarts when looking at UC.
Even though it’s Monday and there’s classes tomorrow, it’s still Halloween! Indulge in some delicious candy (Skittles and Kit Kat are personal favourites), watch a spooky film, or even tackle those assignments (I’m kidding, but oh the horror). For myself, this proud Gryffindor is going to re-watch some Harry Potter films and pick out all the red Skittles in the pack.