Dressed as a white fox, junior Nikkin Rader participates in the Scary Story Contest Tuesday, Oct. 30. Contestants read original scary stories ranging in topics from demonic children to ruined suede pumps. Photo by Sarah Cooper.

With stories about brutal child murders, horrifying sexual assaults and President Mitt Romney, it was truly a frightening night at the Trinity Review’s Scary Story Contest.

The contest, which was followed by an open mic, began at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30, in the Tigers’ Den. Crawling with spiders, cobwebs and bats galore, the Tigers’ Den reflected the eerie mood of the stories being told.

This year there were 12 entries, among the highest ever for the contest. There was a $5 entry fee for the contest, and the winner took the pot, which in this case totaled $60.

Senior Erin Boldt, the winner of the contest, heard about the event from friends in the writing club and Trinity Review and decided to write a poem for her entry.

“It’s written in first person from the point of view of a deranged sex abuser who breaks into a girl’s home while her family is out of town. The poem takes you through the maniac’s thought process, herself having been abused as a child, and ends right as she wakes the girl up,” Boldt said.

Boldt used the rhythm of her poem as inspiration for its plot.

“I came up with the first line and liked its rhythm. That pretty much set the stage for the rest of the story and gave me a kind of trance-like rhythm to follow, which worked well with the creepy voice I wanted to read it in,” Boldt said.

Boldt was excited to win the contest, but she is not going to get to spend the money she won from it the way she would have liked to.

“Well, it felt great to win the cash, and it will help me pay for the parking ticket accrued while at the contest,” Boldt said.

Given the genre, Boldt found her entry challenging to write, but in the end she was more than happy to share her scary story with the audience.

“I actually had mixed feelings about the piece itself. It is in no way pleasant to read, and it really wasn’t that pleasant to write either. It seemed a bit evil when given five minutes to share a message with a room full of people to make it a fearful one, but, alas, fear was pretty much the theme of the night and, well, they asked for it,” Boldt said.

Sophomore Blake Keeling, a staff member of the Trinity Review, was convinced by her friend to supply her own contribution to the contest. Still trying to narrow down her ideas the night before the contest, Keeling received inspiration for her story from an unexpected place.

“My story honestly came to me out of nowhere. I was panicking the night before with two bad ideas, and then I think subliminal messaging from the Joss Whedon “Zomney” video helped. I wanted it to seem like it was leading toward a zombie apocalypse, and then I dropped Romney in there,” Keeling said.

Keeling enjoyed the creativity of everyone’s stories, and she appreciated the diversity among them.

“None of them were alike, and I think we thoroughly disturbed our professors and convinced them we have problems,” Keeling said.

Eliza Perez, a sophomore and staff member of the Trinity Review, also liked the diversity of the entries, and she found Keeling’s story especially memorable.

“I loved listening to the stories the most because some were hilarious and others were downright creepy,” Perez said. “One of the stories sounded as if a zombie apocalypse had occurred as you listen to her tell you that her characters are packing clothes, grabbing weapons and heading as far South as possible. Then it turns out that it’s not zombies, it’s worse – Romney won the election.”

The night did not end once the contest was over. Students who did not enter the contest were encouraged to perform for the open mic portion of the event. Performances ranged from stories that used audience interaction to musical acts.

“I also loved the music that was played once the open mic session began. Both the story- telling and music were great. We have many talented people here at Trinity,” Perez said.

To learn more about the Trinity Review, students can read past issues online or pick up a copy in the English department on the third floor of Northrup.