Halloween: Campus haunts

With dark corners, weird legends, and even weirder locations, Carnegie Mellon’s scariest spots are ideal for Halloween trickery. If you’re going to visit these, bring a friend — and some mace.

WQED cut-through

Considering the number of incidents in the past few years, the WQED cut-through is definitely someplace to steer clear of after dark. The bright lights may seem safe, but the nearby hill is dark enough to hide any number of creepy persons.

Steam tunnels

Legend has it that steam tunnels connect all the buildings on campus. Many students claim to have traveled through the tunnels, in particular the ones that connect Maggie Mo to the UC. Supposedly, the steam tunnels pass right by the UC swimming pool, and those inside can see the swimmers under water. But even if these tunnels do exist, few people have access to them.

CFA side rooms

There are several scattered doorways next to the CFA stairs, many of which aren’t even on landings. As for what’s inside, it’s always a mystery: more studios, art galleries, or maybe death and torture chambers.

Doherty side stairs

Doherty Hall is missing its first floor between lecture halls 2315 and 2210, but if you walk to where it would be from the outside (Baker side), there’s something even more intriguing. If you pull back the bushes on the 2210 side, they reveal a staircase leading to the physics lab, and beyond that — darkness. Worse yet, if you’re coming out of the physics lab, there’s an invisible (yet necessary) step you have to take to avoid plummeting into oblivion.

Top of Flagstaff Hill

With dense trees and no lights, the top of Flagstaff Hill is a downright scary place to be. Any little movement could be someone (or something) lurking in the shadows. The paths slope ominously up into the dark, leading to creaking trees and chilling winds. The police patrol the area once in a while, but it’s still a good place to hang out and tell scary stories, or play tricks on people.

CFA foundry in Doherty Hall

Follow the stairs in Doherty Hall all the way down and suddenly you’re in the D-level basement, which houses the foundry, where art students once used tools and machinery for metal works. Although the foundry has been closed for health and hazard reasons, it is no less scary. The foundry is cold and drafty. Now dark and abandoned, its corners are filled with dust and the remnants of old projects that add to the creepy effect.

Behind Scaife Hall

A small path leads around the back of Scaife Hall, usually considered one of the less exciting buildings on campus. However, this path leads through a horrifying area where many a random object has been spotted, including a child’s inflatable swimming pool. As your feet crunch dead leaves (no matter what time of year it is), it’s easy to imagine ax murderers jumping out of the bushes, where even the nearby professors could not hear your scream over the sound of grading.

Wean side stairs

The stairwell on the side of Wean Hall, closest to Doherty Hall, intrigues many students — even visiting alumni ask about whether or not “Architects’ Leap” is still there, the stairwell that spirals straight down from the eighth to the third floor of Wean. Legend has it that many students, archies in particular, used to jump from the top in attempted suicide — and the poem painted along each landing going down the stairs continues to haunt students today.

Behind Wean

On the way to the Physical Plant Building (or the math department) between Wean and Hamerschlag Hall, there is a small parking lot for motorcycles and Vespas. At the end of the parking lot, a forever-unlocked gate leads to steps to what looks like a generator. Continuing along the side of the generator, an ominous ladder leads down to the small street behind Wean. The ladder looks rickety, and the whirr of the machinery combined with the darkness by the generator definitely give an uneasy feeling.

Need more Halloween? Read up on scary movies and seasonal recipes.