Saturday, December 3, 2022

The “Boo-Ha-Ha”: Party with the Witches of South Lamar

Most know Oxford for its over-the-top Game Day attire, fancy Grove tents and all-out celebrations. But did you know that the town’s welcoming, party atmosphere is amplified even more so at Halloween?

In many towns, Halloween is for the kids, but not in Oxford. Here, the town comes to life for everyone… with parties, decorations, food and much more. 
Oxford residents Machelle Williams and Elizabeth Heiskell, also known as “The Witches of South Lamar,” are hosting their 8th annual “Boo-Ha-Ha” Halloween party on South Lamar Oct. 31.
Machelle and Elizabeth truly embody a fantastic Halloween spirit while their husbands, Luke Heiskell and Ernie Williams, sit back and enjoy what’s been called one of the best parties in Oxford. Machelle and Elizabeth invite friends of all ages to celebrate what Williams described as “the happiest day of the year.”

Elizabeth Heiskell (left) and Machelle Williams

For Machelle and Elizabeth, Halloween is far more than a holiday for the kids.
“The joy in Halloween is that it’s one night where you can bring people of all ages together,” Williams said.
Adults, college students, high school students and young children go all out in their Halloween attire to attend the Witches’ party. Williams even has a custom wig made at Fifi Mahony’s in New Orleans, Louisiana, every year for the special event.
There is an unspoken competition between the residents of North and South Lamar. Every year, each side tries to outdo the other in decorations and all-around atmosphere. There are Halloween tunnels, haunted houses and all sorts of creative and unique decorations that bring the spooky holiday to life.
The Square sits between the neighborhoods, contributing to the extravagant Halloween vibe. This, along with the friendly competition between both sides of Lamar, creates an atmosphere that brings hundreds of families from Oxford and its surrounding cities together.
Whereas an average neighborhood might see a few hundred trick-or-treaters on a busy Halloween, about 1,500 come by the “Boo-Ha-Ha.”
The hostesses also invite 300-400 guests who bring yummy food and lots of laughter. Heiskell, a notorious chef, caterer and cooking star on the Today show, caters many of her amazing dishes, including her traditional duck gumbo and chili! 
Although the party is invite only, trick-or-treaters are welcome to stop by the home of the “Witches of South Lamar.” 
“There are a few things that are for certain with this party,” Heiskell said, “Lots of costumes and lots of candy and lots of good memories.”

By Abby Bailey, an intern for
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