On this past Monday, in the Tigersâ€™ Den, the Trinity Review held its annual Open Mic, an all-in-one scary story contest and a costume contest â€” both of which were voted on by the audience. The event was made to celebrate horror and gothic literature on Trinityâ€™s campus, and to contribute to the Halloween spirit.
The Trinity Review is Trinityâ€™s literary magazine dedicated to collecting and celebrating literature, poetry and all other forms of literature on campus. At the event, different speakers presented their original horror stories, dressed as characters such as Jack the Ripper and provocative bunnies.
â€œThe purpose of [the Open Mic] is to get people excited and for them to have an outlet for creative prospects. This is one of our bigger open mics, weâ€™re really excited, and weâ€™ve been preparing for a while for this,â€ said Alex Motter, sophomore and co- editor of the Trinity Review. â€œThis year we changed the structure for events, so instead of having the whole staff work together on every event, so we have event teams that work on each event.â€
This yearâ€™s annual Open Mic was run by sophomores Kerry Madden, Abby Torres and Rachel Lawson and first-year Aiden Windorf. The team provided an array of Halloween-themed treats and ominous lighting centered around a corner against the wall being used as a stage.
â€œThis yearâ€™s [Open Mic] was a matter of how we were going to keep tradition alive, but also make sure that itâ€™s improving and updating for this year in particular,â€ Madden said.
The night started off with the costume contest. Participants included a puppeteer and puppet, Jack the Ripper and a classic black-hatted witch. Shane Bono, senior, and Holly Gabelmann, junior, teamed upÂ to dress as a puppeteer and their puppet; were considered the most horrifying and won a $10 Starbucks gift card.
After the costume contest, the horror story contest began. Junior Carl Teegerstrom, started off with a story within a story, in which the narrator discovers a scratched up diary recounting the experience of a child who upon being kidnapped with her mother, sees her mother transform into a werewolf to kill their attackers.
Following Teegerstrom was Motter, who wrote an original piece detailing the experience of a deranged woman who believed the appointment reminders she was receiving from her dentist were actually warnings from a satanic cult that she would be their next victim.
â€œI donâ€™t even know where I came up with it. I wrote the whole story in my programming class, like during class, so it was very bizarre, and it kept getting more bizarre as I wrote it. I kinda sat back, and I was like, â€˜This is really good,â€™ â€ Motter said.
The third storyteller of the night was Noelle Barrera, a first-year who participated in the event. (Barrera is a Trinitonian intern enrolled in the COMM 1110 course.)
â€œI just wrote it an hour ago. I asked my roommate for a prompt, and she said like, â€˜What if a room was filled with bears?â€™ So thatâ€™s what I wrote about,â€ Barrera said.
Barreraâ€™s story did not disappoint; it told of a confused narrator who forgot she signed up to be on reality TV with bears.
â€œI feel like there are a lot of interesting things about [Halloween], like how it has changed over the centuries,â€ Barrera said.
The last contestee for the night was sophomore Nihil Patel. Patel took a different approach and wrote a historical fiction about a German soldier fighting in the Battle of Stalingrad.
â€œI figured, you know, what better thing to write about for a scary story than one of the bloodiest battles in human history?â€ Patel said.
Despite the horror and creativity of the other stories, Alex Motterâ€™s terrifying story of the impending dentistâ€™s appointment, and the harm it can do to oneâ€™s mental health, left the audience shaking with both fear and laughter. Motter received a $25 Starbucks gift card.
Barrera was runner-up, and in third place was Teegerstrom.
All participants in the Halloween- themed Open Mic brought the spooky spirit to life whether it was with their outfits or their words, making for quite a horrifying night.