The most spine-chilling, hair-raising thing can’t just be frat row on Halloweekend. From the ghostly grip of intergenerational trauma to navigating the enigmatic maze of situationships, you shared that fear wears many haunting masks. Join us as we unearth UCLA’s most spine-tingling stories of dread and discover how we offered solace in response.
Keifer says: Dear tonight,
The dreaded night, tonight. The one that the sidewalk psychic on Sawtelle predicted would mark the event of a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. Of course, they have more facial piercings than accurate predictions to their name, but there’s always the chance for the spirit of Nostradamus to reach out from beyond the veil, gifting a singular moment of true prophecy to the sidebanged scam artist.
Quicksand, cobras, tripwires, piranhas, midterms, getting dairy in your coffee when you asked for oat milk (you would), a broken nail, car accidents, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, the worst person you know is thriving; all of these and more are well within the realm of possibility for ten, ten.
You should be afraid, and the only way to beat fear is preparation.
Avoid crowded rooms, dark corners, and ESPECIALLY spiral staircases. These locations hold the highest concentrations of extreme danger on tuesdays.
Of course, by now you will have either survived or not. I hope this comes in handy next time ten, ten comes around. Beware prophecy. According to the CDC (citation needed): astrology, tarot, and all other disciplines of divination should be avoided in order to prevent major anticipatory fear events. Fortune cookies, however, are usually still safe.
With love and divine terror,
“The Dream Man.”
Ethan says: Speaking from the perspective of someone who grew up with the internet, it’s weird to think about how long it’s been since the golden days of online urban legends. What even was the last truly relevant digital myth? “The Momo Challenge”? Get outta here. I’m not sure about you, but I vividly remember the good-old-days of terrible, unironic Herobrine stories. As gullible as people can still be, we’re a long way from 2009, the year the Dream Man made his glorious debut.
Today, www.thisman.org probably wouldn’t make it a day on social media without people finding the Instagram account of its creator and the name of the PR firm promoting it. The site’s “theories” and unprofessional presentation would’ve been mocked relentlessly if it somehow managed to even take off. In a time where hoaxes and conspiratorial nonsense have transcended from the internet to the news, it seems like the art of the urban legend has gone obsolete. Everyone’s tired of being lied to, and you would think that no one has time to think about a dude who apparently shows up in random people’s dreams.
And yet, the Dream Man still makes the rounds, more so than possibly any other creepypasta or myth of his time. He simply persists, randomly popping up across social media, and giving a passing scare to whoever still hasn’t heard of him. So in closing, much respect to The Dream Man for helping keep scary online stories alive, even as the phenomenon he was born from has almost completely died out. I know that I’d much prefer my elaborate hoaxes to be for the sake of a simple spook than for anything else.
“Disappointing my immigrant parents”
Zain says: As a first-generation immigrant, I can relate to the pressures and complications that come hand-in-hand with our parents’ love. It’s truly ghoulish. In my experience, this fear is closely related to our relationship with failure as there’s seemingly no greater shame than failing to meet your parents expectations.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent much of my youth in an unstable state of neurosis where I feel that any transgression against my parents’ standards was another betrayal against our shared culture. I came to the United States from Pakistan, and my family is from India, so when I first expressed to my parents that I was uninterested in medicine or engineering, it was basically an admission that I hate being Brown, South Asian, and good natured. This is a pretty typical schism between immigrant parent and child, but soon after I realized that I’ve been a disappointment to my parents since the day I was born. I used to fall asleep in the masjid, wet the bed, yap incessantly during class, curse in front of my grandparents …
As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to know that disappointing my immigrant parents is not only inevitable but necessary. Any sort of love that is meant to be unconditional should be tested. As mentioned before, disappointment is basically an instance where we fail to live up to our parents’ expectations. So, without breaking these expectations, how can we ever grow into our own unique selves and personalities? More importantly, without breaking these expectations, how can our parents adapt to an ever changing world? Yes, these moments can be full of pain, but unfortunately so is everything else worthwhile. The tendency to be perfect is appealing and safe but it can also be harmful. Perfection is a delusional encasement in a life full of failure. And in moments where we experience deep failure, we’ll need to face our parents and other loved ones the most to survive. The tendency to be perfect avoids such crucial, nurturing moments from materializing.
As children of immigrants, it’s relevant to keep in mind the sacrifices and hardships that our parents have faced in order to provide their children with the best lives. Yet, this doesn’t mean that we can’t take advantage of the liberties available with our new home to live a life worth living by our own personal dreams and boundaries. Just because our parents are immigrants, it doesn’t mean that they’re incapable of growth or understanding. In fact, their experience and courage only reveal that they are more than willing to accept and change in order to provide their kids with the happiest possible existence.
Plus, it’s not like they’re perfect themselves.
Neel says: There are many reasons to fear God. Whether you believe in reward or punishment in the afterlife, or karma in a future life, God has always been feared. Some of the largest wars in human history have been waged in the name of God – or perhaps in the fear of God. But what really is the “Fear of God”?
Well, look no further than Jerry Lorenzo, the visionary behind the classic skinny white boy streetwear aesthetic. The Fear of God Essentials line, a series of blank tees and hoodies with the iconic “Essentials” block text sprawled over the middle, is a critical component of the aesthetic. In fact, it’s so essential, that even the poster boy of the aesthetic, Justin Bieber, can’t be seen outside without a Fear of God Essentials hoodie.
Don’t be embarrassed or shy about your fear. Wear it proudly on your chest, and you just might be able to feel the power of the white boy surge through your veins. If this still doesn’t work, then remember DJ Khaled’s important words:
And all your fear just might dissipate. If DJ Khaled isn’t scared, how could you be? But if neither of these work, you might be a lost cause. Good luck!
Lily says: The situationship. I, unfortunately, am all too familiar with the idea. All I gained from my previous engagements was trust issues and a few hoodies. Being the philanthropist I am, I believe that we as a society should eliminate the “situationship” in general (I mean seriously what do we gain). Anything I can do to eradicate situationships is worth my while.
Before we discuss how to avoid/escape a situationship, we must first understand the different types of situationships. The first, and most common situationship, is the one-sided situation. This relationship occurs due to the fact that only one party involved is emotionally invested. The one who is invested dedicates their time, energy, and resources to the other party in hopes that they will win them over. However, while one party falls asleep imagining their lives together, the opposite party is in bed sending thirst traps to their roster.
Once phone calls and FaceTimes enter the equation, the bond evolves into a situationship. A situationship has all the markers of a relationship minus the exclusivity and labels. Situationships generally include good morning texts, nightly FaceTimes, late night booty calls, and confusion. When the “where is this going” question inevitably comes up, the answer generally follows the lines of “I just don’t think I’m ready for something serious.”
The deepest, darkest level of situationships is what I call: the situationlationship (trademark pending). The situationlationship occurs when both parties involved are emotionally invested, but one side, for whatever reason, is unwilling to make it exclusive. Identifiers of the situationlationship include ‘I love you’s, dates that aren’t dates but are definitely dates, and after care.
Although every situationship is different, there are common markers to watch out for while navigating love in the hell hole that is UCLA dating.
How to avoid another situationship and save what little dignity you have left:
- Be for real
Situationships result from one person not being fully invested in the relationship. However, the person who is invested is almost always aware of the fact that the other party is not committed. If you sense that your partner isn’t locked in, get the $%*# out of there.
- Know your worth
Everyone deserves love. With nearly 50,000 students on this campus, you better believe there’s someone better out there for you. If your person isn’t showing you the attention you deserve, go find someone who will.
- Cost-Benefit Analysis
Literally what are you gaining from being in a situationship? Sure the attention is nice, but constantly worrying about them mattering more to you than you do to them is mentally, emotionally, and physically draining.
- Rip the bandage off
In my observation of expired situationships, the victim procrastinates calling it off because they find comfort in the other person. Oftentimes, we’d rather have someone who hurts us than have no one at all. But is it really worth it in the end?
Hope this helps 🙂
“Drake releases a bad album (impossible)”
DJ Krunch Wrap Supreme says: Dearest Adonis Graham (I assume because who else would say this):
I hate to be the bearer of bad news here. But unfortunately your deepest, darkest fear has already come true. Multiple times in fact. I am not one to frivolously bash Drake as many in our generation do– I wholeheartedly acknowledge that this man has dropped some bops. Views for instance? Literally defined Summer ‘16. Any album in the 2009-2015 range was honestly stellar, and I can safely say much of the general public agrees with me. But every Drizzy drop since has been mediocre at best, if not straight-up bad.
The increasing laziness with each album is blatant from their covers alone. No album cover irks me to my core & evokes visceral anger the way Certified Lover Boy’s does. It physically hurts me to know that someone out there probably got bands on bands just to put some emojis on a white square (points for diversity though). I could’ve crafted something better blindfolded & with my left hand. Of course this is all just a tangent from the fact that the actual album itself is unspecial and rather insignificant in Drake’s discography. But enough about CLB– I never thought an album could be too long until I came across 25-track Scorpion. Rife with mind-numbing chart-toppers, this album aptly lives up to the name of its fourth track. “Emotionless.”
So, Adonis, I’m sorry to inform you of the reality of your fears but I’m happy to provide a lending hand as you navigate this newfound truth. Take Care of your mental health. It may feel like Nothing Was The Same, but believe me when I say Drake’s era of good music is So Far Gone. If You’re Reading This It’s NOT Too Late to find other rappers to listen to. What A Time To Be Alive with all the quality hip hop albums in our generation! I’m positive one of them can help you find More Life.
Thank Me Later,
DJ Krunch Wrap Supreme
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) nuking us”
Arami says: I probably think about North Korea more often than most Americans, so the threat of nuclear destruction is usually on my mind too. After all, my maternal grandfather was a North Korean refugee. On the other side of my family, my paternal grandfather was stationed at the DMZ when he was serving in the South Korean military. He still carries a bullet wound on his calf even to this day. One generation down, my dad has probably watched nearly every lecture and seminar about the Korean War that’s been available online since he was in college. It kinda runs in my veins.
At the same time though, I can’t help but feel weirdly upset and confused by this submission, and I’ve struggled to put into words why. Is it because I feel a little weird whenever Americans insert themselves into the North-South narrative? Maybe I’m realizing that neither you nor I could ever understand what it feels like to live in either North or South, where the dangers of nuclear destruction are probably the most prominent. Or maybe it’s because I’ve always sort of internalized the fact that North and South have always seemed like one single Korea to me, and this submission kind of feels like if it’s critiquing the North, then it might as well be critiquing the South as well. I don’t know, this was a messy blurb, but I guess my point is that the history is messy and still evolving to this day, so the fear of potential nuclear destruction is all too real on all fronts. I don’t feel qualified to give proper advice, but my two cents are this: if the threat of nuclear destruction against the US is legit, then that’s only because something even bigger, more dangerous happened between the North and South. That, I’m truly terrified of.
Grace says: To be frank, I have not fully wrapped my head around the idea of being afraid of the ominous, FRANK, in which an apprehensive, UCLA writer scribbled on a piece of paper. Who is Frank? Where is Frank? What is a Frank? I feel like I’m grasping at straws trying to formulate a complete thought that could help my dear writer overcome their fear. In my pursuit to help the Frank-fearer, here are some popular Franks you shouldn’t be afraid of…
- Frank Ocean: While he may never return to music (and that’s definitely something the music industry should fear), perhaps for the well-being of his diehard-GenZ-depressed fans, this could be a real step forward to overcoming your fear of being sad forever.
- Frank Gallagher: As long as you’re not one of his kids, I don’t think you should be scared of American television’s grimiest, deadbeat dad.
- Frank Sinatra: The iconic 1940s crooner had his notorious mug shot taken in New Jersey. He was arrested for the ultra-frightening, super-scary, bone-chilling charge of seduction and adultery, which is no longer a criminal offense. So, don’t worry about Frank Sinatra; he might falsely promise your girlfriend with marriage, but he’ll never do anything criminal of today’s standard.
- Frank(lin) Roosevelt: Quick American history review: This Roosevelt instituted a series of welfare programs as a means to help America restore economic prosperity and job stability in the era of the Great Depression. As inflation seems to be reaching epic highs in the United States, maybe we need our nation’s most famous Frank president to stage a comeback. Honestly, I’m not really sure how the economy works, but I hope this still alleviates some worry about FDR.
- Frank (enstein): Frankenstein is definitely one of literature’s spookiest, but I was told that everyone loves a character written by a woman. And Frankenstein, a literary figure of Mary Shelley’s mind is a man (?) written by a woman. How scary can he really be?
“white men in UCLA radio”
Sam says: I don’t blame you for being terrified of white men in UCLA Radio. Completely understandable. Honestly — I feel like all the men in our club are a total mystery. Radio is very queer-coded, so it’s like, if you’re not a girl/gay/they, what are you doing here?
The token white men always intrigue me. As in, are you fruity? Are you straight? Are you a shirtless photo on Grindr with no name? What’s going on here? I mean, you’re probably in Radio to talk about sports or something. Apparently there was some big football game this weekend…some white man tried to explain it to me while walking back from class and I was deeply, deeply confused. Something about Colorado and sports and a sold-out Rose Bowl stadium. Literally fear factor. Anyways…I’m getting off-topic.
You have a few options. For one, you can avoid them at all costs. That mostly entails not joining Sports, and sitting with the girlie pops at all station and various radio events. On the other hand, you can pull a Sam (yes I’m speaking in third person) and go so far around the circle of hating them that you’re actually down bad for one of ‘em. Yikes. A fallen soldier, that I am.
I’d say it’s almost fun to have a crush on a toxic radio white man. Like, you literally become the empress of delulu. Happens to the best of us. We’re so far inside the microcosm that once in a while, we convince ourselves one of these truffula-tree-ass white men is boyfriend material.
Anyways. I’d say…steal their tote bag. Make them come out to you as straight and say you’ll still accept them. Or kiss them at a party just because you’re cuckoo. Or do all three at the same time. Wow, no one should give me an advice column, like, ever. Good luck bestie!
“people who order vanilla ice cream”
Dana says: I had to read this over and over again to understand what was so scary about this order. Vanilla gets a bad rap for being too plain – I mean, the word itself is a synonym for plain. According to the submitter, if you step into an ice cream parlor and your eyes glaze over the tempting hazelnut chocolate, dulce de leche, and coconut sorbet just to get a scoop of vanilla ice cream, what was all the hesitation at the register for?
Let me walk you through the miracle that vanilla flavoring is. Vanilla beans have to be hand-plucked one by one several months after pollination. Too early or too late, they’re no good. It is the Goldilocks of flavoring – it has to be just right. And that’s not even going into the history of spice trading itself. Wars were fought, families torn apart, so many tears spilled just so you could open your spice rack and mull over what to season your limited-edition autumnal latte with.
Despite all this, you tremble at night over a person who orders vanilla ice cream. I have no comforting words to say, but maybe we can get together over a bowl of vanilla ice cream and talk this through..if you dare.
“I’ve been a people pleaser my whole life and lately I can feel my circle getting smaller and that I like fewer and fewer people. Some nights it feels a little lonely.”
Chloe says: Fellow people-pleaser, my heart goes out to you. People often oversimplify the solution by telling you to just learn to say “no.” But when you’ve spent a lifetime as a people-pleaser, this behavior becomes deeply ingrained in every interaction, leaving you feeling emotionally drained and exhausted.
The silver lining in your circle getting smaller is that, in the short term, it’s a sign of your growth. When your circle was larger, it likely included friendships that relied on your people-pleasing tendencies to sustain themselves. As you begin to assert your boundaries more clearly, those who were taking advantage of your previous accommodating nature will come to realize they can no longer manipulate you for their own gain, and they may choose to depart. In such cases, I say good riddance, because genuine friendships should never depend on one person’s constant accommodation.
Despite my own ongoing struggle with ingrained people-pleasing tendencies, I’ve noticed that in my true friendships, the compulsion to people-please disappears. These friends make me feel safe, understood, and content with who I am. In their company, I find the freedom to express myself honestly. It is through these people that I realized that people-pleasing does not need to be an inherent feature of my life – I just need to choose the right people to invite into it. True friends won’t abandon you for doing what’s right for yourself, and remember, you can be a true friend without always giving in to others’ demands.
If you’re seeking to expand your circle again and make new friends whom you genuinely connect with, remember to keep an open heart and mind. Not every interaction will lead to a lasting friendship, and that’s perfectly normal, especially in college. It may require some selectivity, but this approach will pave the way for deeper, more meaningful connections with those who appreciate you for your true self, rather than what you can do for them. <3
“760 *** ****”
Arami says: As a lifelong introvert, I am lowkey so baffled that anyone could have the courage to submit something this personal and sensitive without even knowing what we’d do with that information. For all I know, I could’ve easily exposed your number for your classmates and professors to see. They might read this article and would then go on to judge you for lacking the emotional nuance to understand that we are trying to write a cute Halloween article. We’re not asking for your number. Besides, we already had a Valentine’s Day version of this article! That was your only chance to send in your number! Luckily for you, I am terrified that everyone would judge you for an otherwise honest mistake, and so I’ve taken the liberty to at least keep your phone number private. Maybe the most anyone will learn about you now is that you’re from southeast California, fortunately or unfortunately. You’re welcome.
Lily says: Is it the pink tights? High buns? Pointe shoes? Trash bag pants? It’s difficult to address this fear without all the details. However, in an effort to ease this fear, I recommend exposure therapy. Start with a baby ballet class. There is almost nothing intimidating about a toddler in a tutu. As a ballerina (in some capacity) myself, I admit that teenage ballerinas are certainly the scariest of ages. However, use the baby ballet class to remind yourself that these dancers were once toddlers in tutus too. It’s like when people tell you to “imagine the crowd is naked.” Please don’t imagine ballerinas naked, but you can imagine that they’re all chunky little toddlers in pink puffy tutus.
“social settings. i am so shy sometimes its debilitating”
Ali says: Ah, social settings! It’s like entering a lion’s den, but instead of lions, it’s just a room full of people, and instead of roaring, they’re discussing the weather. I mean, who knew that a room full of humans could be so intimidating? It’s not like they’re aliens from another galaxy (or are they?). It’s just us, with our quirky little quirks, quirking away.
But the good news is, you’re not alone. We shy folks have our own superpowers, like being experts at eavesdropping. We can hear a conversation from across the room like we’ve got bionic ears, and then casually insert our opinions as if we’ve been part of the discussion the whole time. Shyness also makes for great detective work. We notice the smallest details, like that person who’s been eating the same hors d’oeuvre for an hour.
So, while shyness can sometimes feel like a hurdle, remember it’s also what makes us unique and gives us a great vantage point for the most entertaining show in town – the human social circus! Just remember to bring some snacks, because social spectating can be quite a workout!
“LIVING A BORING 9-5 MIND NUMBING JOB 4EVER”
DJ Corporate Shill says: Ahhh!!! The future! The scariest thing of all! But guess what? Life is long. Choosing a path now does not mean that you are locked into it forever. Nothing is forever. The job you worked when you were 23 may be completely different from your career at 33. Isn’t that exciting? Our lives never have to be fixed, and every day is a choice. If you’re finding it hard to make that choice right now, here are a few questions that might guide your thought process.
- What do you value? Making a life you are happy with is a question of prioritization. Do you enjoy material comforts more than you would enjoy freelancing in art? Are you interested in starting a family? As I type these out, I’m realizing that they may serve to scare you even more, so I’ll stop. Instead, think about your life right now, and what you love (or don’t love) about it. What drives you to get out of bed in the morning? To think about your future? That’s what you hold dear, and is what you should place in high importance when thinking about your career. It’s possible that a paper-pushing office job might afford you the lifestyle you desire. It’s also possible that chasing your dream of being a North Face sponsored cross-country skier is your lifestyle, and you don’t need the cushy PTO offered by a 9-5. Your choice should depend on what you value.
- What are you willing to tolerate? There are some personalities that can tolerate more than others. Judging by the content of this submission, I suppose you lean towards the other end of the spectrum. I understand that we have big ideas about quality of life and passion and inspiration, but I think there is also something to be gained from forcing ourselves to do work that might not feel like stepping into “The Sound of Music” every day. At least for a period of time.
- How realistic are you being? The reason the grass is always greener is because we see the “other side” as an amalgamation of all our alternatives. Pick just one alternative to a 9-5 and really think about whether or not you’d be happy doing that thing day after day. If the answer is a resounding yes, I absolutely believe that you should go for it. You’ll land somewhere or make something of it along the way that feels right and fulfilling. If the answer is no, well, there’s your answer.
- Can you reclaim your life? Yes, the question sounds like the Instagram caption of a Lululemon-sponsored yogi who hawks $150/hr FaceTime “life coaching” sessions, but I promise if you put aside your skepticism, there is value. How can you find pleasure in the simple act of making tea in the morning? How can you find joy in doing nothing more than watching the autumn leaves fall? Can you find a reason to be lighthearted even in the most dire of mundane office jobs? It’s up to you.
Good luck! More likely than not, we’ll cross paths looking for our 500th connection on LinkedIn.
“The unseen realities”
Lucy N. says: For the sake of this piece, I am going to assume that you are referring to the multiverse–the infinite realm of potential being. Now, first, let me validate you. The assumption that every possibility exists is definitely scary. It’s impossible not to be haunted by all the alternatives. I mean, what if there’s a universe where you’re happier? Or smarter? Or prettier? If every possibility exists, then why am I living in this one?
You could let the unseen realities consume you. I certainly have. I’ve spent far too much time daydreaming about how I should have studied for that test or how I should have talked to that guy. However, I don’t recommend this kind of thinking. It’s exhausting.
Rather, I encourage you to practice gratitude. What are you grateful for in this reality? There has gotta be something in your life that makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be something sentimental. It could be a Starbucks breakfast sandwich. I mean, they’re delicious. I’m so thankful I get to live in a reality where I can eat them. Think about your own Starbucks breakfast sandwich. Let the concept of multiverse liberate you. Be thankful for this reality.