With Halloweek starting up, it seemed appropriate to revisit some common moments of horror experienced by Brown students. These are the experiences in our daily lives that can seem as full of terror as anything Hollywood has to offer. Here I present just one of these frightening dramas. Check back later in the week for yet another installment of Horror Stories of Brown University.
Enter Act 3, Scene 2 of our first Brown Horror Story:
The floor is empty—the night is late. A lonely reveler, departed from his companions, wanders down the hall, stumbling as he passes each door, fidgeting with his keys right outside his pocket. Exit signs, once illuminated, lie broken on the floor, their wires still protruding from the open ceiling. The floor is filled with an eerie fluorescent light, which, unnoticeable during the daytime, creates an oppressive and inescapable aura during these hours of early dawn.
Our unnamed protagonist, PARTY-GOER, turns a desolate corner, searching desperately for his room and the comfort and safety of his bed. Yet something seems odd and out of place, as though an unnatural presence were lingering in the spaces that used to feel so familiar. His phone having been long dead, he begins humming in order to try to reassure himself in the strange hallway.
PARTY-GOER (slurring quietly to himself): Cause the players gonna play play play…and the haters gonna hate hate hate…but I’m just gonna shake shake shake…
An UNEARTHLY WAIL emerges from the closed door up ahead and interrupts him. The partygoer, unknowing, does not recognize the room’s warning. Yet, as he takes his keys from his pocket and places them in the lock, he grows wary, frightened even, of what he may discover. He is alone and helpless as he opens the door.
UNEARTHLY WAIL (startled, in shock, about to lash out): Wait…stop, stop, stop, what’s that? Wait, get out of here! Get out!
The camera lingers for a moment on the darkened room, as though disoriented by the scream. Something—a shadow—moves in the corner of the room. The sheets from the bed are quickly raised as though from their own accord, covering whatever lies hidden under the bed, or whatever has now possessed the room. A vengeful spirit? A playful ghost? Or a phantasm first encountered in a second-term orgo lab? No matter the case, the reveler, along with the camera, swiftly exits the room, before its haunted mystery can be revealed.
PARTY-GOER (clumsily apologizing): Um…sorry about…sorry about that…I didn’t know…
He turns to leave. ROOMMATE, previously unseen, cracks open the door like a spiritualist conjurer interrupted midway through his Satanic ritual, hesitant to divulge the secrets of his mystical craft.
ROOMMATE: Hey, sorry, we didn’t know you were coming home and thought you were spending the night somewhere else.
PARTY-GOER: (sighs) This is like the fifth Friday in a row…I mean, c’mon…can I just go to sleep?
ROOMMATE (cautious and careful): Can you give me like, 15 minutes? I thought I texted you and assumed it was cool since you didn’t respond. Phe (he gestures inside) was a little rattled.
ROOMMATE smiles apologetically, as though commanded by forces beyond his control.
PARTY-GOER: (passive-aggressively) Yeah. Sure, it’s fine. Just…yeah, okay.
PARTY-GOER turns and walks away, mentally making a note to complain about it to friends at brunch the next day.