It’s Halloween already here at UCSB! It seems like we just started the school year a month ago and it’s already that time for the annual hunt through the local thrift stores for the greatest in 1970s Huggy Bear fashion accessories. The nice thing for me is that your Halloween costume choices today will be some of my finest fashion statements tomorrow. Not saying I have bad taste in fashion, but then again, maybe the fact homeless people give me their change when I walk by is not a good sign.

Lack of fashion sense aside, it’s now the time of year that Isla Vista gets invaded by tens of thousands of out-of-towners looking for a wild place to party for Halloween. As a result, hundreds of cops, firefighters, paramedics and others are here to help keep the town as safe as possible. Like I do every year, here is a list of tips and rumor-busters that hopefully will help you all get through the interesting week ahead!


First and foremost, if you have a party, be aware of the Halloween Noise Ordinance (6-70.01 Santa Barbara Co. Ordinance). It basically states no amplified music will be allowed between the hours of 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. from Oct. 26 through Nov. 4. Can you party? Yes, parties are allowed. However, any music that can be heard outside your residence will result in the party being shut down. House full of out-of-control flying monkeys? No problem. Just keep them away from the stereo and you’ll be okay!

If you go out to check out Del Playa, remember there are going to be about 4.7 million cops out there. Okay, maybe just about 150 or so, but either way, it will seem like you will run into one every few feet. Don’t get drunk and hit the street. On Halloween weekend, if you are drunk, you have a very high chance of being arrested. Then who will be at the apartment to feed the flying monkeys?

Are visitors allowed into Isla Vista? Well, we don’t shut down the freeways or block the roads coming into Isla Vista. People can get in, but it is a mad house and the closest parking is about four miles away. Costco and K-mart will be towing cars from their lots. Best advice? Don’t have out-of-town visitors during Halloween! Any other weekend is so much better. Also, if you live in the UCSB Residence Halls, there is a strict no-visitor policy. Anyone caught with visitors that week will get nailed by the UC.

Which streets are closed? On the weekend before Halloween and Halloween itself, Del Playa, El Nido and Sabado Tarde will all be blocked off, as they get crowded. Pedestrians will be allowed in, but no cars. If you live on those streets, get your car off the street! Any cars left on the street may be towed or (worse) severely stomped on by crowds.

Will they be confiscating toy guns or costume props? YES! Anything that can be used as a weapon or looks like a weapon will be confiscated and held until you pick it up the following week.

Can I pet the horses? Please, do not under any circumstances pet the horses! They are trained to work in crowds and deal with noise, but going up and touching them can potentially startle them. Especially when someone who has been drinking decides to pet the horse like it’s a huge flying monkey. That will definitely get you arrested.

So the most important rule for Halloween is simply to use common sense. If you go out, go with friends and stay together. Don’t act crazy and get the attention of the cops, and try to be respectful of your fellow I.V.-ers.

My best advice to you is to avoid Halloween weekend. It’s packed with people to the extent that you can’t see anything three feet in front of you, there’s no music, any parties that do happen are quiet and private, there are cops everywhere citing and arresting people, and it kind of smells funny. Since Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, it will very likely be a local event. People will show up for a couple of hours, show off their flying monkey costumes and head home. Actually, sounds like a fun time.

If you do choose to hang out this upcoming weekend, all I ask is that you please be careful and don’t get hurt. I know I am supposed to be the mean ol’ nasty cop who just wants to arrest you and ruin your life, but I really don’t like seeing the unfortunate results of bad decisions made by some students. So just have fun and be safe. Watch out for your friends and hopefully, they will watch out for you. And if you do run into some trouble, don’t hesitate to call, email or even send me a note via flying monkey — though I actually prefer the last one.

Take care and have a safe Halloween.

Sgt. Mark Signa keeps warm by wearing a fuzzy, purple flying monkey jumpsuit under his uniform every Halloween.


Got caught by a cop? Your party popped by the Po-Po? Ticked by a ticket? If you have questions, don’t let it eat away at you, Question Authority! Email me anytime at or call UCSB PD at (805) 893-3446.