What’s REALLY Horrifying at Harvard


Things go bump in the night on Ivy-League campuses, too




1.The Night: A period of time during which the sun does not shine upon Harvard.


Upon being a student for little more than a year at Harvard, I have observed a truly terrifying trend at the school. It would seem that for some reason, Harvard students feel the need to guard themselves against the night. You can see this in the way they stay up until the early hours of the morning, often sitting in groups together as they fortify themselves against the darkness with food from Brain Break.


What do these students fear? Do their Teaching Fellows transform into horrible fiends at night? Do the ghosts of students who failed their Finals wander the halls when the sun goes down? Is there a curse that befalls the students who go to bed before two in the morning, preventing them from ever waking up again? What is so horrible about nighttime that Harvard students feel the need to stay awake through it and guard themselves? We may never know the true horrors that could await us if we went to bed at a reasonable hour.  


  1. Grad Students: Creatures to be found occasionally in Harvard Yard and other locations on Campus. Often seen sitting stoically in cafes and at the back of lecture halls.


These otherworldly beings seem to have transcended the mundane necessities of the human experience. Observing them will lead you to notice that Grad Students somehow never eat, or sleep, and can go hours without moving from the same spot. Such behavior is completely unnatural, yet somehow, these terrifyingly mysterious creatures survive.


One has to wonder how they do it. What is the magical liquid that they use to sustain themselves whilst they are in their periods of unnatural stillness? Is it a potion, ambrosia, or poison of some kind? How is it that Grad Students complete the immense tasks they are often given? The uncareful observer may think their herculean efforts boil down to run-of-the-mill tenacity and hard-workmanship. The careful observer will know better, and probably credit Grad Students with the superhuman, paranormal capabilities that they so obviously have access to.


  1. Freshman Year Roommates: Frightening creatures, they do not get less tricky with time. You may find that they remain fickle and scary throughout all four years of college.


Your four years at Harvard begin with you being randomly assigned to live with strangers for a year. You may think you can trust them, you may think they will let you do your thing while they do theirs. You may find yourself completely wrong. Roommates are known for making strange sounds in the dead of night, keeping you awake and wondering what horrors could possibly be taking place in the other room. Roommates are also notoriously fickle and tricky creatures. You may wake up one morning to find your living space completely destroyed at the hands of a drunken roommate or may find that some of your most beloved belongings have seemingly disappeared when your back was turned, only to have them mysteriously reappear on your bed without a word a few months later.


Roommates will either be your best friends or your worst enemies. Unfortunately, you will not know who to put your trust in until it’s too late.


I have encountered one truly terrifying documentation of the lengths that roommates will go to unsettle you. It reads, “When I went to sleep the door was closed. But when I woke up it was open. I do not live alone.” Alyssa Bravin ‘20.  


Clearly, this account proves that Roommates know no bounds when it comes to invading your life and taking what they want for themselves. Anyone reading this article is warned to beware of these tricky, devilish creatures.


  1. Concentrations: At other, normal schools for other, not beastly college students, this phenomenon is known as a “major”.


Harvard is known for being strange, even compared to other Ivy League Institutions. Perhaps something that truly sets it apart is its upsetting tendency to name things differently from other colleges. The institution likes to tout its flair for the dramatic and no other action displays this more than that of naming “majors,” “concentrations.” Freshmen and Sophomores alike fear the word, the Freshmen because they do not understand it, and the Sophomores because they don’t either, yet they are still forced to choose one halfway through their second year.


Concentrations are appalling because they take over your entire life. When you are forced to align yourself with this malignant machination for study, you will find that it completely dominates your mind and soul, while leaving your poor, beleaguered body to deal with the consequences. Avoid concentrations while you can, they are a form of brainwashing and soul-selling that few can escape from unscathed.


Alaya Ayala ‘21 (alaya_ayala@college.harvard.edu) likes to fancy herself brave when she writes about these ghastly Harvard Happenings.