Chapel Hill police closed Franklin, Columbia and Henderson streets to vehicles at 8:50 p.m., and the streets remained barricaded until 2:15 a.m., when the police cleared the streets of the remaining partygoers. Police cleaned up and opened the streets to cars at 3:20 a.m.
Officials said this year's crowd topped the one that gathered on Franklin Street last year, which they weren't expecting.
"The number of people surprised us because it was a Tuesday night," said Gregg Jarvies, Chapel Hill interim police chief.
Police were on hand at different street barricades to confiscate anything that resembled weapons, including toy guns and knives.
Despite the precautions, people said they still had a good time with their friends and the people they met while partying Tuesday night.
"I love meeting new people and seeing their costumes," said UNC sophomore Adrienne Rhoads, who was dressed as a baby.
Katie McMahon, a UNC sophomore who was dressed as a hula girl, agreed. "It's better than Christmas and my birthday combined," she said. "Halloween is a time when people can lose their inhibitions."
Ryan Ellis, who came dressed as Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, said this was his third time attending the celebration.
"I like Halloween a lot - there's not another time you get to act like someone you're not," he said.