The Scene: 9/26/12

Craving a Spooky Story This Halloween?

Brooke Skiba

With Halloween coming up next Wednesday, you may be looking to get a good thrill in the spirit of this spooky occasion. Scary stories may provide you with just the horror you desire. Tales about the supernatural have made their way from spoken-word to literature and continue the tradition today in the form of scary movies. Many of us may even think of campfire stories with only the firelight or a single flashlight creating shadows in the dark.

But why are we so attracted to these scary stories? Those who are, most often enjoy them because of the adrenaline rush they provide. Yet, unlike a ride on the Millennium Force, scary stories usually have a more lasting effect than the two-minutes of lurches in your stomach. The movies come back to haunt many of us as we’re trying to fall asleep or when we’re studying alone in the library lower basement late at night.

However, if you’re immune to the horror “symptoms,” you may still be craving a good thrill this Halloween. Scary stories are all around us on campus if you’re watching and listening close enough. Horror junkies can certainly find excitement in everyday events, such as waking up to a sleepwalking roommate standing over you, or exiting an elevator late at night to find someone unexpectedly standing outside as the door opens. Not to mention the chill that comes over you when you walk past Henderson Apartments, or walk past the tree gravestones by Galpin. We have our own ghosts on campus, one of which, Effie, enjoys watching the plays put on by the theatre department. Watch for her this weekend when you go to see Equus.

What you really have to worry about are the creatures on campus. Many of my own classic campfire horror stories from Wooster do not involve the supernatural at all. In case you’re now dying for a thrill, I’ll share one story with you. I hope that it helps get you thinking about which of your own stories you’ll be telling around the campfire for Halloween.

I was walking back to Holden from Morgan one night, and it was especially dark – the kind of night when everything blends together in blackness and you start to see nonexistent shadows in what little light there is. No one was around, and I was particularly jumpy. Every little noise—a rustle in the trees, sounds of footsteps that may or may not have been right behind me, a howling off in the distance – sent my heart racing. I was clenching my mostly-empty coffee cup so hard that it began to cave in.

I slowly approached a trash can to throw it away. Though I still felt scared, I had no idea that I was about to face an even worse terror. I quickly tossed my cup into the trash and I heard a tiny rustling sound deep in the trashcan. I froze in my tracks, stiff with fear, but also (just like every protagonist in a scary movie) somewhat curious. I peered down through the opening of the can. The rustling stopped for just a moment, and I saw nothing but the black of the garbage bag. Suddenly, a small dark figure jumped out at me and I recoiled, terrified. Ever since, I’ve had a fear of small black squirrels and throwing things away.

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