Students share scary stories as fall tradition

Ghost stories hide in the Upper School library but most students equate movie scares with their childhood or present day nightmares.

Dianne Caravela

Ghost stories hide in the Upper School library but most students equate movie scares with their childhood or present day nightmares.

Dianne Caravela, Staff Writer

As she closed the door to the dark basement, a sudden impulse to bolt up the staircase as fast as she could seized her. Lying in bed about to fall asleep, a strange shadow caught his eye, jolting him awake. It could be strange sounds on a dark night or things moving with no explanation.

Whatever it is, everyone has had moments of terror. Why are these things so scary? It’s obvious there isn’t really a monster in the basement, an axe murderer hiding under the bed, a ghost haunting the house. But maybe, it brings to mind a scary story or a creepy movie. From doomed babysitters to haunted houses, axe murderers, and monsters, ghost stories are everywhere.

Freshman Mira Zelle “lives off of ghost stories.” She first started acting out scary stories with her neighbors and it has been her passion ever since. She said “the being scared part is fun because you know nothing will happen, but there’s still that adrenaline.”

The stories that scare her the most are the ones that happen to normal people or contain false realities.

Senior Jonathan Trevathan is not scared of giant spiders or crazy clowns like many people might be. He says he doesn’t have any irrational fears, but that wasn’t always the case. When Trevathan was in sixth grade, he watched the horror film Mirrors, in which demons use people’s reflections to possess and kill them. For a while afterwards, he was scared of mirrors.

They give me nightmares.”

— sophomore Weston Lombard

On the other hand, sophomore Weston Lombard is very scared of ghost stories: “They give me nightmares,” he said.

He also hates the strange noises he sometimes hears when going to sleep at night. When Lombard watched the movie Insidious, he was terrified of things that would instantaneously pop up on the television screen. He also dreads the anticipation of waiting for something bad to happen.

“Ghost stories can have a major effect on people’s lives,” Lombard said.

Sophomore Sonia Sukumar enjoys the more lighthearted side of ghost stories. She likes telling them with friends and doesn’t find them too scary.

“The ones that are more frightening are the ones that are realistic and told in a scary place,” Sukumar said.

Why do people love to be scared?

Maybe these stories are an escape from real life. Perhaps it’s human nature to be fascinated by gore and fear. Or maybe it’s that moment in every story that makes the monster under the bed more real, the shadows more menacing. It makes bolting up the stairs from the basement and hiding under the covers with your eyes snapped shut sound like a pretty good idea.