Blood suckers and wand wavers invaded two Illawarra high schools yesterday as year 12 students celebrated the end of their schooling.
Students at Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts threw off their muggle clothing for something a bit more magical by dressing as Harry Potter characters, while Smith's Hill High School leavers added fake blood, fangs and gaping wounds to their uniforms as they donated blood for muck-up day.
While a constant stream of vampires and zombies was alarming for others giving blood at the Wollongong Donor Centre, year 12 student Chantelle Ragg said they need not fear because these were vamps with heart.
Dressed for the day as a vampire nurse, complete with some terrifying contact lenses, Chantelle said the students had wanted to give back to the community while having a bit of fun to mark the end of school.
"We thought a 'blood and guts' Halloween mufti day was a good way to do it," she said.
"Asking my year group to bleed together was a little shocking. A lot of them are nervous, getting something stuck in your arm is nerve-racking, but a lot of them are saying they'll do it again."
Meanwhile, a few blocks over, Wollongong High School was turned into Hogwarts for the day, as students opened the Chamber of Secrets and re-enacted the final battle between Harry and Lord Voldemort.
They had been planning their themed celebrations for the past few years, after coming up with the idea in year 9.
Along with their elaborate costumes, which included a very convincing Harry, Dobby, Hagrid and Professor Umbridge, they also held a students v teachers Quidditch game and a Hogwarts-style feast.
Emily Jones said the day had turned out perfectly.
"It's been a long time planning and we've been waiting so many years for it. It's turned out better than we could have imagined."