The weeks leading up to Halloween bring colder, shorter days, the exciting lure of haunted houses, buckets of candy and, naturally, the telling of scary stories.
Last Tuesday, the Trinity Review Literary and Art Magazine hosted their annual Scary Story Contest in the Tigers’ Den, in which contestants read chilling adventures they themselves wrote.
“I think that the decorations and the dimly lit, subterranean Tigers’ Den really did a lot to add to the atmosphere, and it made listening to scary stories a lot of fun,” said junior Evan Lewis.
The competition took no small amount of bravery on the part of the contestants, who had to dress up in costume, stand in front of an audience of about 60 students and try their hand at frightening the judges.
Judging the contest were Paul Myers, professor of computer science, Maria Paganelli, assistant professor of economics and Harry Wallace, associate professor of psychology.
This year’s winner was junior Tarryn Pollard, who won $60, and the runner-up was sophomore Beverly Chatfield.
Other contestants included junior Julia Smith, senior Savannah McDonough, sophomore Maddie Smith, senior Pramath Parijat, first year Mike Brew, sophomore Angela Arroyo, senior Pablo Tarquino, senior Kevin Sheil, sophomore Megan Reynolds and sophomore Christine Gurley.
“The stories are original, which is really cool,” said junior Sarah Barrett, a staff member on the public relations committee of the Trinity Review. “Also, it’s $5 to enter the contest and if you win you get the pot, so that’s an encouragement.”
Stories ranged from an impressively frightening and bloody rearrangement of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” by McDonough to a spoof on a true historic event in her hometown of Evergreen, Colo., by Maddie Smith.
“I liked the different renditions of what people thought was scary as well as the fact that some of the stories were funny and kind of a parody,” Barrett said. “It’s a fun, creative outlet that gives you a chance to win a little extra money.”
While listening to the terrifying sagas read by their peers, audience members munched on the wide array of free food, which included mini crème puffs, Rice Krispies treats, cookies decorated with Halloween images, candy corn and an assortment of fruit which could be dipped into a pot of chocolate fondue. If they still happened to be hungry at the end of the performance, small bags of candy were available to take home.
After the Scary Story contest was a free open mic, in which people could recite poetry, sing, rap, perform a comedic act or really anything their hearts desired.
“After, the contest was the open mic, which is just all sorts of randomness and you can do whatever you want,” Barrett said. “That part does not have to be scary. It is just to entice people to come and have something fun to do after all of the stories are read.”
Overall, for both the contestants and the audience members, the Scary Story Contest and corresponding open mic was a delightful, albeit petrifying, success.
“I thought that the contest was a great event that really captured the holiday in a dark but humorous way,” said sophomore Shelly Gordon. “People should go next year because it is a great way to support friends, hear some odd stories and take a great study break.”