At Cornerstone University, we had numerous power outages last fall, so there were many lightless evenings spent sitting in the living room of our apartment and telling of the hijinks around campus -- which included everything from campus safety workers urinating off the tops of buildings, to some unusual creatures that came out of the woods one night across from the freshman dorms.
Every school has stories similar to these, and it is part of building community among students to swap stories -- plus it is just good fun. In honor of the beginning of yet another school year, here are some old stories that have been told before at colleges everywhere, and also some new ones you may not have heard yet. Thanks go out to www.snopes.com and www.urbanlegends.com as well as
www.about.urbanlegends.com for help in compiling this list of folk legends. Enjoy.
A MORNING SURPRISE
A sophomore at the University of Texas had an interesting encounter one evening while he was partying with some of his friends. They were all having a good time drinking and socializing, and he even met a young lady that he was quite taken with. As the evening began to come to a close she invited him to go to an apartment where another party was taking place, and he decided to go with her.
They continued to drink and even began taking some strange drugs. He eventually passed out on the couch.
The next morning he awoke to find himself in a bathtub, all by himself.
He was surprised to discover that the bathtub was full of ice and that he was completely naked. On his chest someone had written in lipstick, CALL 911 OR YOU WILL DIE. In a panic the young man quickly shook off the fog of the previous evenings activities and saw a phone on the floor next to the bathtub. He dialed 911 and informed the operator that he was unsure where he was, what he had taken and that he wasnt even really sure why he was calling.
She told him to inspect himself in the bathroom mirror. He did and found that nothing seemed wrong. Next she told him to look at his back. Strangely there were two 9-inch cuts on his back, so he told the operator about them.
She said that she was sending over a rescue team and that he should get back in the tub immediately.
After being examined the student was told what had happened to him. Both his kidneys were gone, apparently stolen. They are said to be worth thousands of dollars on the black market. Guesses say that the unknown students he was partying with were from the medical school and that the drugs he took were not typical recreational drugs.
After researching this, it was discovered that the story has no basis in reality.
It is not known if the events of the following letter actually took place, but some speculate it did.
Dear Mother and Dad:
It has been three months since I left for college. I have been remiss in writing and I am very sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date now, but before you read on, please sit down. You are not to read any further unless you are sitting down, okay.
Well then, I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and the concussion I got when I jumped out of the window of my dormitory when it caught fire shortly after my arrival are pretty well healed by now. I only spent two weeks in the hospital and now I can see almost normally and only get those headaches once a day.
Fortunately, the fire in the dormitory and my jump was witnessed by an attendant at the gas station near the dorm, and he was the one who called the fire department and the ambulance. He also visited me at the hospital and since I had nowhere to live because of the burnt out dormitory, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. Its really a basement room, but its kind of cute. He is a very fine boy and we have fallen deeply in love and are planning to get married. We havent set the exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show.
Yes, mother and dad, I am pregnant. I know how very much you are looking forward to being grandparents and I know you will welcome the baby and give it the same love and devotion and tender care you gave me when I was a child. The reason for the delay in our marriage is that my boyfriend has some minor infection which prevents us from passing our premarital blood tests and I carelessly caught it from him. This will soon clear up with the penicillin injections I am now taking daily.
I know you will welcome him into the family with open arms. He is kind and although not well educated, he is ambitious. Although he is of a different race and religion than ours, I know that your oft-expressed tolerance will not permit you to be bothered by the fact that his skin color is somewhat darker than ours. I am sure you will love him as I do. His family background is good too, for I am told his father is an important gun-bearer in the village in Africa from which he comes.
Now that I have brought you up to date, I want to tell you there was no dormitory fire; I did not have a concussion or a skull fracture; I was not in the hospital; I am not pregnant; I am not engaged and I do not have syphilis. However, I am getting a D in sociology and an F in science; and I wanted you to see these marks in proper perspective.
Your loving daughter.
For his final English assignment one semester, a young man attending Mississippi State University was asked to write an essay on Hamlet. He was pleased when he got the essay back from his professor because he had been given an A, but there was also a note on the back page saying that the professor wanted him to come to his office for a talk.
After walking across campus to the professors office, the student was told an interesting story about his essays origin. My boy, the professor said, you probably are not aware that I am a fraternity brother of yours - in fact I spent most of my time as an undergrad at the same chapter house you live in. We also used to keep some old student essays to be used in aiding those young men who had not applied themselves fully.
The student gave a blank look to the professor, letting him know that he had no idea what the professor was getting at. The professor continued, saying, You have the bad luck of copying word for word a paper on Hamlet that I wrote myself.
The young man stared at the ground, ashamed of the discovery that had been made. Youre probably wondering why I gave you an A, the professor continued. When I turned in the paper, the prof I gave it to was a jerk and I got a B on it. I always felt that it deserved an A.
It is not known if this story actually happened. Some say that it is true, others say it is not.
THE PENNY PINCHER
Back in the 1980s, a freshman enrolled at the University of Illinois to study chemistry. He was having some trouble financing his education when he came up with an idea and submitted it to a writer at the Chicago Tribune who put out a regular column. What he had in mind was to have every person who read the column send him just one penny in order to help him with school. After all a penny does not mean anything to most people. So he just asked if each person who read the column would send him one cent.
What most would think is that it would be a waste of time to even attempt this. But in less than a month, a total of 2.3 million pennies had been collected for the student. Eventually he met his goal of raising the $28,000 he needed to graduate from school.
When explaining why his scheme worked, the young man said, I didnt ask for a lot of money. I just asked for money from a lot of people - 2.8 million people (from Chicago).
Some even sent larger donations of nickels, dimes and quarters, while others wrote him checks in the amount of $25. He even received a number of letters from admirers telling him that they loved what he was doing.
This story is actually true.
Back in the 1960s at the University of Michigan there were two females who were dorm mates and also had the same science class one semester. One day in class the professor reminded all the students that the midterm was coming up and so one of the girls (for the sake of argument, shell be called Veronica) quietly paid attention, in order to get everything she needed to know for the exam. Her roommate (Rachel) was busy the whole class period passing notes to her crush, who was just down the aisle she was sitting in. At the end of the class the guy invited Rachel to go out with him to a party that Thursday night.
Of course Rachel decided to go, but she tried to convince Veronica to go as well. Veronica said she was just going to stay at their dorm room that night and study for the midterm, and also mentioned that that was what Rachel should be doing too. Rachel used the excuse that she would just cram the next morning by skipping her first class.
And so Rachel went to the party and had a wonderful time - she even got a goodnight kiss from the guy of her dreams. She got back to her dorm at about 1 a.m. and wanted to tell Veronica all about her evening. She was just about to turn on the light switch when she realized that Veronica was probably asleep, and decided it was better to tell her about it first thing in the morning. So she quietly got into her bed, and fell asleep.
The next morning the sunshine woke up Rachel and so she got out of bed and saw Veronica asleep on her books, face down on the bed. Rachel knew that Veronica had fallen asleep studying before, so she went to wake her up for class. She rolled her over and saw Veronicas face agape in horror.
Underneath her body was a pool of blood with a trail leading across the floor. Written on the wall of their room, in Veronicas blood, were the words, Arent you glad you didnt turn on the light?!
This story is a complete myth.
During a final exam for a psychology class at Florida State University, one student was having a particularly difficult time. He had fallen so far behind on the exam that he continued to write his answers almost five minutes after the professor had told the students to put their pencils down and hand in the test. The professor grew very tired of waiting for him, so he picked up the stack of exams and started walking out of the classroom.
When he saw the professor leaving, the student quickly finished up and held the exam out so the professor could take it. The professor refused to accept it since he had taken so long after time had been called.
Of course the student was very distressed by this, but the professor was adamant in saying that he could not accept the exam by school code, since he had continued far past the end time of the exam. The student then asked the professor, Do you have any idea who I am?
Since the class had consisted of around 100 students, the professor had no idea who the young man was. I dont have a clue who you are, the prof said, But Ill have a pretty good idea what your name is when I record your failing grade.
With that said the student suddenly knocked all the finished exams out of the professors hands, scattering them across the floor and mixing his own into the pile, then he ran out of the room.
Rumor has it the guy got a B.
Although some of the details are probably incorrect, it seems likely that this account was based on an actual occurrence.