GRINNELL - For all college students, Halloween is a night of free candy, cheap alcohol and racially insensitive costumes. Yet this Halloween, the danger became real for some students when an outbreak of the zombie virus hit campus.
The zombie virus, which has several varying stages ranging from mild (slurred speech and a dependency on coffee to function in daily life) to severe (inability to walk followed by a taste for human brains), may have been imported into Grinnell after Fall Break.
Students speculate that the outbreak may have begun at Halloween Harris, where Jansen Crane ’19, was reported to have been running around and biting various students. Crane was later dropkicked and court-martialed by two of the visiting Navy Medical Corps officers, but the damage had been done.
“It was cray, man,” Calvin Handen ’16 explained as he stood outside of Harris in his “sexy darque bunny” costume “He just sprinted up to me and bit the side of my neck. His costume wasn’t even good either…he just had splotches of blood on his clothes.”
Other students agree. “I was talking to this hot guy…and then he started talking about how much he wanted my brain. I mean, I know I’m smart, but that’s still a little…odd,” Sadie Hawson explained, gesturing to her “sensual genie” costume. “Turns out he just wanted to eat my brain. Lame.”
Students who had any red on their costumes were immediately herded outside at the end of the night to be examined for the symptoms. This proved to be more quite difficult, as many Grinnellians decided to attend Halloween Harris as the most popular and easiest college costume—a zombie. Furthermore, symptoms of the first stage of the zombie virus are also commonly found in both drunk and college students.
“Since it’s Halloween, half these kids are in a sugar coma and the other half are hungover,” said SHACS nurse Cody Forks as they took a lethargic student’s pulse. “Not only are their pulses all janked but they’re also sleepy and uncooperative. There’s essentially no way to tell the infected from the partying.”
As a result, SHACS was flooded with students recovering from either confirmed or suspected zombieism. Although SHACS has installed new zombie-proof beds, they have outsourced many of their patients to the basement of Noyce. “It was a no-brainer,” Forks said, gesturing around the small, cramped area. “I mean, no one comes down here anyway.” Zombies appeared to be adapting well to the basement, as the lack of doors, windows and general sunlight are perfect for zombies in their hungry state.
When asked about her feelings on being doomed to spend an eternity in the Noyce Basement, Kasie Cranfield ’17 was optimistic. “I mean, we’re basically excused from class for the rest of the year. I’d be upset or something, but lack of brains means that I don’t really care about anything except sleeping or eating. Got any extra brains? Or an intern you don’t like?”
Although the zombies are hungry and brains are limited, SHACS has once again developed a solution. “We just try to extract a few students from the prospective student tours, and lure them down to the basement. Then we just leave them to be eaten. If they survive more than three hours, then so be it,” Forks stated. “Students themselves have also begun to visit the basement in the hopes of becoming zombies. Especially first years. Turns out that Grinnell may have been a bit too hard for them to handle.”