With the Halloween season approaching and the College strapped for cash because of the recent economic downturn, the administration has been looking for new ways to lean into the spirit (ha ha) of fall while also turning a profit.
When the CEO of Spirit Halloween, Frank E. Stein, gave Maud Mandel an offer she couldn’t refuse, she started searching for an empty spot on campus to convert into a Halloween decoration and costume superstore. Thompson Chapel, already equipped with spooky gothic architecture and creepy weirdos who meditate, is always empty, and therefore proved to be the perfect haunting locale for the Halloween chain.
“Speaking off the record, based on what I’ve seen from my time here, there is not a single student on this campus who believes in God,“ said Mandel, putting some cobwebs on the tiny replica of her house that she keeps outside her real house. “Considering this is a school full of annoying nihilistic atheists, we figured no one would be using the space in any kind of religious context. But like I said, off the record.” Reporters then reminded Mandel that this is The Haystack, and not The Record, and that she was probably just confused.
The store will sell all kinds of spooky decorations, from skeletons, to gravestones, to a large printout of a Marlene Sandstrom email. “Normally, we’d just sell wooden signs that say “beware,” or “keep out,” written in fake blood, but we figured Marlene’s emails about the Spring pretty much communicated that same message,” said Stein.
Members of the administration are excited to put the old abandoned dump to use. “No one ever goes in there, and I know because I’ve never been in there,” said Matt Sheehy. “We’re turning it from a figurative ghost town to a literal ghost town, so to speak,” he continued, giggling so hard at his own little joke that he couldn’t finish the interview.
Some changes will have to be made: Clear signage will have to be implemented to demarcate the difference between lifelike zombie statues and Williams students, and the Bell ringers will be put to use, charged with playing the Monster Mash, and the Monster Mash only, 24/7 until the store goes out of operation, to ensure a pleasant shopping experience.
Community members have been pitching in to fully incorporate the store into the campus community. Scott Lewis has even offered up WOC board members to serve as living scarecrows that Berkshire residents can lease for their properties, while Doug Schiazza has donated a playboy bunny costume he “just happened to have lying around,” and “definitely doesn’t wear.”
The Spirit Halloween will sell other costumes besides the ones donated from faculty members. Offerings will include commercial ones, like Avengers Superheroes or Disney Princesses, as well as some local references, including “Liquor Store Dog,” “Sexy CSS Officer,” “Wasp Trapped in Dining Container,” and “Slutty Mission Park.”
Some might question the dicey implications of renting out a religious sanctuary as a retail space. But Mandel was sure in her decision, and in the fact that there are nine other churches within a five mile radius of Paresky.
“Do you think a single econ major here believes in God? No. All they do is sin,” she said. “And if no one is using this chapel for moral or spiritual redemption ––That’s why we have IWS, anyway –– then there’s no point in letting it collect dust. You could say, I guess, that I worship at the altar of capitalism, and that my communion is cold hard cash from the Spirit Halloween Corporation.” With that, she turned into a bat and flew away into the twilight.