BAKER LAB—Chemistry students were overcome by sheer terror Monday morning as they entered Baker 200, which had been transformed into a haunted house by changing absolutely nothing. Stepping through the foreboding double doors, students were confronted by the same sights, sounds, and scents as those of any ordinary chem lecture, but only in the context of Halloween did they suddenly recognize the blood-curdling character of what they once considered “normal.”
“There are feet dangling over the edge of the mezzanine,” commented Hal Owens, ’25, hugging his knees and nervously rocking in a main-level lefty-desk. “The shoes are in prime position to plummet onto any one of our heads. I don’t know what’s more frightening—the prospect of getting knocked out mid-class or having to tell people you got knocked out mid-class by a hideous falling Golden Goose.”
Other haunted elements include waves of contagious coughs rippling across the classroom, odors of corrosive chemicals lingering from jump-scare balloon demos, and shrieks from the rusty pulley system swapping the upper and lower blackboards.
“When the professor began to switch the blackboards, I heard the groaning ghosts of 2070 past,” said Stella Ton, ’26. “It’s the same sound the machine thing always makes. But today, for whatever reason, I could make out words in the piercing noise from hell: ‘STUDENTS BEWARE! YOU’RE ALL GOING TO FAIL THE NEXT PRELIM.’ Now I’m scared to death for my S-GPA.”
It is suspected that the hauntedness of Chem lecture has eluded students throughout the year due to memory-altering spell-casting by the professor. Students have pointed to “big scary chem words” as potential spells, such as “antimarkovnikov hydroboration oxidation” and “molecular orbital theory.”
COLLEGETOWN—At a Chi Alpha Tau party on College Avenue this Saturday night, sophomore Jordan Felane raised concerns by pairing his impressively detailed cat costume with a disconcerting enthusiasm for the canonical lore of Erin Hunter’s seminal cat-war novel series Warriors.
“I wouldn’t expect Twolegs to understand, but you might have a chance,” Felane explained to a guest dressed as Garfield. “They keep telling me I ‘sound insane’ or ‘need to get over a book I read ten years ago.’ I mean, great StarClan! It’s exactly these sort of fox-hearted statements that make Twolegplace so hostile to descendents of LionClan. But you’re a kittypet, and while you may not understand our way of life yet, the great Firestar proved that this is no barrier to becoming a great warrior. I can see the ambition in your eyes, and after training this newleaf, you could make a fine deputy in the battle with Delta Omega Gamma.”
After discovering that Felane was completely sober, the hosts decided it would be best to accommodate their guest rather than risk making any more of a scene or having to listen to any more elementary school-level cat universe lore. After pouring a few White Claws into a bowl, they left Felane to his work.
“He’s acting really strange,” said host and fraternity president John Nimitz ‘23. “He keeps insisting that everyone call him Cloudstar. That’s ridiculous, right? I mean, if he was in a clan, he’d be a warrior at best, there’s no way he would make it even as high as deputy. And even if he was made leader, you think that nerd would get accepted by StarClan? Not a chance. Plus, the books aren’t even that good after the first series anyways. Not that I’ve read them.”
After the party, brothers accused Felane of treason against Nimitz and provoking war with other fraternities. After holding a Gathering, the brothers voted to banish Felane from their Clan.
COLLEGETOWN — Over the past few weeks, Alessia Newman ’22 and Brett Chen ’22 poured dozens of hours into perfecting their Ash and Pikachu couples costume to wear for Halloween, not knowing that they would get in a fight that night that would result in their break-up.
“They say that working together is important for couples to grow closer, so I’ve really valued putting this together with Brett,” said Newman. “It was tough coming up with a costume at first because we don’t have a ton of shared interests, but when Brett was really adamant about this idea, I came to realize maybe it wasn’t so dumb after all.”
Newman noted that Halloween weekend corresponded with the couple’s six-month anniversary, a “happy coincidence” that Chen appeared to have forgotten about entirely. Still, the lame-duck boyfriend expressed excitement over the weekend’s festivities.
“Oh man, Lessie is gonna look so hot in that Pikachu costume,” Brett remarked. “And it’s so cool that we were totally on the same page about this! It’s really great how she’s always happy to go along with my ideas on this stuff.”
At press time, trouble was already brewing as the brothers at Beta Sigma Gamma began referring to Newman as “the Super Sweetheart” upon the couple’s arrival at the night’s party.
WHITE HALL—As dusk turned to dawn on the first of October, students around campus who interact daily with Amber Knight ‘23 exasperatedly remarked on how utterly fucking obnoxious she would be today on, in Knight’s words, “the first day of Spooky Month”.
“For our 9 AM government discussion section, she burst into class wearing a dumb Spooky Skeleton costume as if she was still in fucking middle school,” lamented Professor Jackson Godard. “Really not a good day to do that, as we’re currently talking about famine relief for developing countries. Extremely distasteful. Why couldn’t she have come as a spooky UN peacekeeper or something?”
Many students clearly observed that Knight’s desire to commemorate “31 Days of Halloween” stemmed from a need to extract as much joy as possible from her childhood fascination with the occult now that she had become an “adult” in college and faced actual responsibilities. Others transparently viewed the lengthening of Halloween as a shallow capitalist scheme to further commercialize the holiday.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween. I look forward to it every year,” remarked Connor Paetrano ‘22. “But Amber is totally ruining it by making Halloween EVERY SINGLE DAY of October. Halloween is not a month-long corporate holiday like Christmas; it’s one day of the year for me to get blackout drunk and ignore my deepest psychological fears.”
Asked to remark on fellow students’ frustration, Knight simply said “Every day in my business classes, I see people wearing the most terrifying horror costumes imaginable: future stockbrokers, bankers, consultants, and other types of murderers. At this point, I just sort of assume every day here is Halloween.”
COLLEGETOWN—Jessica Ashdale ’20 began unfurling her crumpled, uncomfortably-soggy baseball costume Friday evening in preparation for yet another weekend of costumed revelry.
“How the hell did I get beer on every inch of this costume?” Ashdale said while examining the wadded XXL t-shirt she last tossed in the corner of her apartment Sunday after a bout of day-drinking. “And what is this stain? I can’t tell whether it’s wine from the Friday pregame or fake blood from Sam’s ‘Sexy but Incompetent Nurse’ costume.”
While at first curious as to why her costume smelled so awful, to her horror Ashdale soon recalled having spilled a mango strawberry smoothie all over herself Saturday night.
“I guess if I fold this section, and turn so only my left side shows when taking photos, it could work?” said Ashdale, unsuccessfully trying to hide the more offensive spaghetti-sauce streaks with staples and whiteout. “ This would be so much more manageable if I could just rub out all the marker stains I got from hugging 18 different Lil Pumps and 6ix9ines I saw last weekend.”
After repurposing her bedraggled outfit into a “used napkin” costume, Ashdale strode confidently into the night, unaware that by Sunday her outfit would be little more than a couple strings of thread held together by beer and dried vomit.
LIBE CAFE, ITHACA, NY— Enrique Gomez ‘19 found himself gripped by the spirit of Halloween when a harmless Libe cafe study break brought him face to face with everyone he stopped talking to the second day of freshman year.
“Most of the Halloween tchotchke doesn’t faze me all that much… Rubber spiders, perhaps a poorly-assembled spooky lawn art decoration,” said Gomez. “But running right into all eight members of my OL group, so intent on grabbing lunch next week—I’ve never seen anything so horrifying!”
Young Ja Kim ‘20, an onlooker to the incident, said Gomez wasn’t expecting Libe cafe to be representing Halloween so well. “They extended their hands to him, inviting him to join their table, and he looked like he was about to faint. They were all trying to bring back their first Cornell GroupMe.”
“One of them said we should hang out sometime,” continued Gomez. “But then they actually followed up! They asked me what days I was free, whether we should call in our Orientation Leader, and I knew I needed to get out of there. They even sent me a Google Calendar invite!”
After throwing away his phone to avoid the incessant GroupMe messages, Gomez suffered a similar episode Thursday evening upon being followed by the only person he remembers from CUOnTheHill.
COLLEGETOWN — Actively indicating they will destabilize their crumbling relationship by the end of the night, juniors Katie Riley and Jason Daniels arrived at a Halloween party in a cigarette and lung couple costume, a pretty good sign that they will soon be breaking up.
“We’re going through a rough patch at the moment,” said Daniels, whose festive medical attire together with his girlfriend is an assured indicator that their six months together are coming to a firey end.
The two emotional wrecks, expressing throughout the night that the past two years have been a total waste, eagerly posed for pictures in their cute but ultimately egregious choice of Halloween outfit.
“I just feel sorry for them,” said fellow partygoer Julie Dryzek ‘19, as her and her boyfriend in their peanut butter and jelly costumes danced happily to the spooky music. “I can’t imagine what the decision process was like for that costume. They must have already known by then.”
Sources confirmed that after the party was over the two drunkenly stumbled into the mud, ruining their costumes in addition to any hope of a future together.
Terrorizing all who enter the rooms of zombie caution tape and spooky tombstones, the meatloaf is still the scariest thing in Cornell’s dining halls, despite the decorations.
“The Halloween stuff is, like, whatever. But when I got the meatloaf I legit screamed,” commented Bryan Wang, shivering at the thought of ingesting the flavorless beef bricks.
All the other food has been renamed under a Halloween theme, like the “cranial fluid” iced tea, but the meatloaf remains as terrifying as ever with its name unchanged.
Wanda McKnight, an unassuming sophomore who made the fatal mistake of tasting the cow cubes, said, “As soon as I put it in my mouth it came right back out.” She looked down at her plate laden with the chunky beef porridge, and added, “At least now it won’t be served to someone else.”
Many innocent victims of the questionably edible brown mush have been seen huddled around a Purell dispenser that’s been covered in a Scream mask, because they feel it represents their inner fear and desire to be clean after that revolting experience.
As one student rationally avoided the meatloaf, a Cornell chef shouted the warning, “No one is safe! Except the vegans. Fucking vegans.”
MCGRAW TOWER — The Cornell community was taken by surprise this morning to find that some lighthearted prankster managed to place a severed head on the top of Cornell’s iconic McGraw Clock Tower.
“That head really spooked us for a moment there, but we know it’s all in good fun!” said CUPD chief Kathy Zoner on the “rapscallion” behind the severed head, still dripping fresh blood from the tower. “These students and their Halloween shenanigans. Sometimes, you just gotta let kids be kids!”
The head was presumably placed on the tower late last night, but no witnesses were there to see “the fun-loving scamp” in action, according to Chief Zoner. “Some people suspect the Rock Climbing Club is behind this wacky joke, but we’ll never know for sure. I think this one’s best left a mystery.”
Tour guides are already incorporating the “lure of the severed head” into their tours. “If you look to your left, you’ll see Cornell history in the making,” said tour guide Ashley Herman to her group, pointing to the severed head in the air.
When reached for comment, President Skorton told CU Nooz he was “so happy” that this “ingenious practical jokester” contributed to the Cornell aura, and hopes this act becomes a “time-honored knee-slapper” of his presidential legacy.
Warning: The following image could be considered disturbing but only if you find light-hearted mysterious pranks disturbing (but really, gore):
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