October 31, 2016

SUNSPOTS | Halloween Edition: What is the scariest thing at Cornell?

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Libe Tower reflects the Halloween season on an unseasonably warm night.

See what several of our writers have to say about some of the scariest things they’ve experienced during their years at Cornell.


Charlie Liao

As a non-guaranteed transfer, I had no clue that Cornell housing is basically over before Thanksgiving. So, I’m living conveniently closer to Ithaca College than I am Cornell. What does this mean? Well, it means walking through a living representation of the “Upside Down” from the Netflix hit, Stranger Things. I literally feel like Will’s mom… but instead of screaming “WILL!!”, I’m screaming “PRELIMS!!”. If you ever want to experience this, please access the thin bridge across the gorge behind College Terrace. My current record for sprinting across the bridge out of paranoia-induced fear is 12 seconds. Try to beat it.


Lev Akabas

The correct answer to this question is without a doubt the freight elevator in Willard Straight Hall — the minute I stepped inside it I was convinced that I would never come out — but that’s too easy, so I’d like to talk about something else. Throughout last year, I gave my heart and soul to defending RPCC as the superior North Campus dining hall, citing its convenient location, wide selection and Mongolian grill. Then, one day in late April, I was eating a Sunday brunch omelette at RPCC, and I noticed that it was a little runny. After a brief moment of contemplation, I realized that I generally enjoyed the omelettes at Appel ever so slightly more. My mind flooded with questions, like why doesn’t the RPCC salad bar have gorgonzola cheese, and why are the apple brie sandwiches that Appel serves for lunch so good? I understood the sad truth that for eight long months I had been almost exclusively eating at the inferior dining hall — that, my friends, is true horror. Also I watched The Babadook with some friends last year and that was pretty f***ing scary and thus deserves an honorable mention.


Hunter Moskowitz

The scariest part of Cornell is the slope. I’m a really forgetful person in terms of leaving stuff around. I literally forget the key to my room like once a week on my desk and I cannot count the times I have left my phone or my backpack at a friend’s place after hanging out there. So, sophomore year, I made the dreaded trek up and down the slope, probably a thousand times a day, searching for some left-behind artifact. I slogged up and down in the early fall, when the air was hot and humid. I slipped and slid down the slope in the winter, when it was full of ice and snow. I even ventured through the pouring rains that make little rivers on the paved paths in the spring. Up and down, I constantly stumbled over that hill, frightened of its steep terrain.

That being said, the slope offers the best view to stare into the burning reds and oranges of fall foliage, or stare into the depths of Lake Cayuga. Yet, at the same time, it stands overhead, imposing in a vertical fashion upon the Cornell landscape, frightening me of its constant call, to wander up and down.


Amanda Xu

The scariest thing about Cornell is the fact that we’re not bringing Lil Yachty to Slope Day 2K17. There really is no debate that the hardest rappers in the industry right now are Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, and Lil Uzi Vert (in that order). It shakes me to my very core to know that people like Charlie Puth are being considered for Slope Day but no one from the trifecta are being mentioned. And after we had to bring in Walk The Moon last year, we deserve someone amazing. Like Lil Yachty. Not only did Lil Yachty drop serious bars in his album “Lil Boat”, but also his song “Been Thru A Lot” tells us that he’s been through a lot. And when we thought Soulja Boy killed his own career years ago, Lil Yachty proved us wrong when he viciously slammed Soulja Boy and ended him with the online Twitter beef. What a goon. It is truly scary that Cornell, an institution of intellectualism and impartiality, didn’t consider the rap industry’s frontliner Lil Yachty for Slope Day.


Kyla Brathwaite

The scariest thing at Cornell is the ever-elusive curve. It keeps you on your toes, because you never actually know where you stand with it. You end an exam hoping for a low mean and a high score and wait 2-5 days for your results. On hand back day, waiting for the histogram to go up, the mean and standard deviation to be listed and your score to be posted is the most frightening experience. Most professors wait until the end of lecture to give out test details, which makes the anticipation, the fear and the dread even worse.  As you sit in class, your body is tense, and the only thing you can think about is –“I wonder how I did, I wonder how everyone else did, I wonder how I did compared to everyone else”. These thoughts bounce around your head for a full 50-minute lecture (maybe even 70 minutes for those poor Tuesday, Thursday souls). And when the professor finally puts up the distribution, there’s a disclaimer: any grades approximations are subject to change with final scoring. With that, you plummet back into the land of the unknown, of the ever-elusive curve.


Gwen Aviles

My pasty skin thrives in the snow. When I walk outside, I blend in — no one can find me. As a kid, I’d always dreamed of invisibility powers, never once thinking it would actually happen, but it did. And since coming to Cornell, I’ve never had to worry about sunscreen. You know, the rainbow tubes in the grocery store, that come in random increments of 15, confounding even the most scholarly Cornell students? What’s the difference between SPF 30+ and SPF 45+ anyway? I don’t know, and the point is, I don’t need to know. But the joy the Ithaca tundra brings me is undermined by my constant fear that It will come back. Apparently, it was last seen at Cornell 20 years ago.  They say it’s 92.96 million miles from the earth, but I hope it stays twice that far from here.



Sophia Deng

Photo Courtesy of Amaan Shaikh

Photo Courtesy of
Amaan Shaikh

All day. Everyday.

Happy Halloween!