Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life



This post was written by Hatchet reporter Aishvarya Kavi.

In the spirit of Halloween, hundreds gathered in Georgetown near the steps from the 1973 film, “The Exorcist” on Friday – and thankfully no one reenacted Father Karras’ infamous plunge.

Instead, they came to see the well-known staircase in Georgetown officially join D.C.’s list of landmarks in a ceremony that included the film’s director, William Friedkin, screenwriter William Peter Blatty and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

“This monument will be seen by thousands, tens of thousands, and eventually, perhaps more, that will come through here, that will associate the film that we made with this beautiful and historic community,” Friedkin said. “I’m really proud of that and grateful.”

Both Friedkin and his former colleague and long-time friend Blatty, who wrote the movie’s screenplay as well as the novel “The Exorcist” that served as the inspiration of the film, spent the afternoon autographing memorabilia before speaking and being honored at the commemoration ceremony.

Foggy Bototm’s Council member Jack Evans also revealed a resolution during the ceremony that designated Oct. 30 as Exorcist Day in D.C.

During the signings, crowds formed a line that wound down Prospect Street past the Exorcist House, some dressed like the film’s characters.

Other attendees, like John Blazer, a former photography student in D.C., were extras in the film, returning to see the creators of a movie they never knew would become the cultural icon it is today.

“I think I ended up on the cutting room floor,” Blazer, 66, said. “I was studying photography at the time, so I took a lot of pictures of the actors and the directors and the cameramen and the crew. It was fascinating experience.”

While signing posters, DVDs and even an iPad, Friedkin rattled off a list of his favorite horror films including Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and a lesser known Japanese film, “Onibaba” by Kaneto Shinto.

“In time, the Rockies will crumble, Gibraltar may tumble, they’re only made of clay. But these steps are here to stay,” Friedkin said.

Bowser, who opened the commemoration, spoke about her efforts to put D.C. “on the map” as a film town, a process she began with the creation of the new Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment in D.C.

Along with Bowser and Evans, Georgetown University President Jack DeGioia spoke at the event. Blatty, a graduate of Georgetown, said that he still thinks of the university as home.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Crystel Sylvester.

Batman is the hero that D.C. needs – at least when it comes to Halloween costumes.

Google’s “Frightgeist” tool, which allows users to search for costume trends based on location, revealed that the masked superhero’s uniform is the most popular get-up in the District.

D.C. trends also mirrored trends across the country – in New York, Batman grabbed the No. 5 spot , while “Superhero” was the number one costume choice (and third in the District).

D.C.’s top five most-common costumes also included “Star Wars” characters, “Suicide Squad” and comic book character Harley Quinn and pirates.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporters Regina Park and Lauren Gomez.

Halloween is a three-day affair, so after you’ve gotten your fill of free candy from the embassies, take your costume, grab your $3 “boorito” from Chipotle and head to one of these spooky events.

Scream City
7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
2400 East Capitol St.

Want a real haunted house experience without the bunny ears and fake cobwebs? Try Scream City by Steelhead Productions, an experience so intense that it won television network A&E’s “Haunted House Design and Build Competition” in 2014.

The “Nationally Recognized Haunt” experience has returned for its 15th year with two new attractions. The “Slaughter Factory” offers you the chance to meet the crazed owner of a slaughter house while the “Exorcism Estate” lets you wander around an abandoned Victorian mansion where a wealthy District family disappeared on Halloween night. A 40-minute walk through these back-to-back haunted houses is sure to give even the toughest horror fans a scare.

Scream City will be open every Friday and Saturday night from Oct. 2 to Nov. 1. Tickets range from $30 to $40, depending on the date and time.

Night of the Living Zoo
Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave NW

See the spooky side of the National Zoo on the night before Halloween at the Night of the Living Zoo. Attendees of the adult-only Smithsonian National Zoo event will experience some of the Zoo’s 1,800 animals after-hours, along with live music, performance artists and food and beverages supplied by some of DC’s best local food trucks and breweries.

If you find yourself wandering the Zoo during the event, expect to run into live music from Black Masala and DJ Squirrel, and performances by fire twirlers, stilt walkers, and illusionists from the Cheeky Monkey Sideshow. Farther into the zoo, participate in a “Spooky Halloween Display” competition or costume contests to win prizes.

The event is $20 for members and $30 for non-members.

Nightmare on M Street
Oct. 31 at 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Various bars

After you’ve gone door-to-door to collect candy, it’s time to go door-to-door at your favorite bars like Sign of the Whale or The Exchange.

The 17th annual Nightmare on M Street is back with 26 participating venues spanning three District neighborhoods – Dupont Circle, the U Street corridor and Gallery Place – so carousers are bound to hit old favorites and discover new ones in the process.

Some bars have also added costume competitions and drink specials, including $3 Coors Lights and $5 Kraken Rum or Three Olives Vodka.

U Hell Halloween Party
Oct. 31 at 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.
1115 U St NW
Free for 21+ before 11pm, $15 for 18-20 through advanced tickets only

An all-night dance party is sure to bring out the best Halloween costumes, so hit up U Street Music Hall’s annual U Hell event from 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Spinning beats will be the discjockey duo Gents & Jawns, two club music mavens who have performed with Diplo, Dillon Francis, Nadastrom and Caspa. If you’re a regular at the concert hall, make sure to put extra effort into your Halloween get-up – costume contest winners will earn free admission to the venue for a year.

The event is free for anyone 21 and older if you arrive before 11 p.m. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 20 can buy $15 at least an hour in advance to attend.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Rachael Paul.

Students were invited Tuesday to BYOP – bring your own pumpkin – to Kogan Plaza, where they joined professors to carve their favorite literary scenes from works from “Beowulf” to “The Divine Comedy” into pumpkins.

“I’m sitting here with my beautiful pumpkin ready to carve, but I feel like I’m having writers block, but with a pumpkin carving,” one student, Sophia Lin, said, tapping her carving knife against the front of her pumpkin.

Students and faculty from the English department participate in the Jack-O-Lit pumpkin carving contest in Kogan Plaza Tuesday afternoon. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Students and English professors came to the “Jack-O-Lit” pumpkin carving contest in Kogan Plaza on Tuesday afternoon. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

“Jack-O-Lit” was the brainchild of English professor Jeffrey Cohen and the students of his Chaucer class, part of an effort to strengthen the sense of community in the English department.

After many of his students said they felt a slight disconnect in their relationships with faculty, Cohen asked his class what the department can do to make students feel “like they belong.”

“Class twice a week for 75 minutes, you don’t get to see the personal side, you just see the professional side, so it’s fun to just be with students and do things with them,” said Cohen, who is also the director of the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

Senior Magdalena Stuehrmann suggested carving pumpkins together.

“I was really happy because [pumpkin carving] is something that the anthropology department has been doing for awhile,” Stuehrmann said. “We have a party in the department, we carve pumpkins, and it’s a great way to get students and faculty involved doing something fun together.”

After Cohen posted his plans on Twitter, he was joined by Holly Dugan, the director of the Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare Program, Jonathan Hsy, an associate professor of English, and Robin Delaloye, the director of communications and outreach at Gelman Library.

Students from the GW Bardians, a group devoted to exploring Shakespearean resources in D.C., also teamed up with him, and the organization’s president, Katherine Bradshaw, scribbled “#JACK-O-LIT” in chalk around campus to promote the event.

By halfway through the festivities, the crowd around the pumpkin-carvers had doubled in size, and students walked from one station to the next, carving verses from Pearl Poet’s “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” into the pumpkins.

Judges from Gelman surveyed the creations and awarded book prizes for categories like best overall, funniest, most theatrical and best literary adaptation.

Pumpkin festivities aside, Cohen said he cared most about connecting students with their classmates and faculty.

“I feel like if any student gets the message that he or she is alone here, or that there is no one else looking out for them, then something went wrong,” Cohen said. “We want them to know how much we care about them, honestly.”

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Regina Park.

Welcome to one of D.C.’s most exciting nights. Luckily for Halloween lovers, the city does not disappoint.

From zoos to clubs to old-fashioned creepy mansions, there’s a Halloween event for everyone in the District. After dressing up and grabbing your $3 Boorito from Chipotle, here are some places to spend the rest of your weekend.

Photo by Flickr user DeusXFlorida. CC BY 2.0

Photo by Flickr user DeusXFlorida. CC BY 2.0


Happy Hour Halloween PubCrawl
5 p.m. to midnight
The Front Page, 1333 New Hampshire Ave. NW
$8, 21+

With the Happy Hour Halloween PubCrawl pass, drinks will be cheaper ($2 draft beers, $3 bottles) at participating venues from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. Checking in at The Front Page and receive a map of venues, all located in Dupont Circle area.

Night of the Living Zoo
6:30 to 10 p.m.
3001 Connecticut Ave. NW
$20 for FONZ members and $30 for nonmembers, 21+

On top of an exclusive nighttime view of animals, there’ll be a costume contest, music by DJ Squirrel, live entertainment, carousel rides, scores of vendors like DC Slices and Founders beer. Plus, when you’re done looking at the new American Buffalo, you can go hang out around Adams Morgan.


Clubs, clubs, clubs
What’s Halloween without a touch of sinful fun? Most of the clubs in the D.C. area are honoring the holiday with special decor, reduced-price drinks, professional DJs and reduced (and often free, for the ladies) admission fees. Clubs are 18+ all night, although admission prices are generally higher for the younger crowd.

Most clubs in the District will host a Halloween-themed night, but we recommend Ultrabar’s Nightmare on F Street for overall fun and cheap drinks, Opera for its variety in themes (this year’s Halloween night is called “The Purge”) and Town for craziness (It’s hosting D.C.’s largest Halloween bash with a $1,000 prize for best costume of the night).

Halloween Graveyard Jam
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Hard Rock Cafe, 999 E St. NW
$26, 21+

It wouldn’t be a true D.C. Halloween without the Halloween Graveyard Jam. Sponsored by Things To Do, this event normally packs the Hard Rock Cafe with more than 1,000 attendees. The Jam will have a mix of all kinds of music, as DJs spin out classics and new favorites alike. There will also be bobbing for apples, a caricaturist, drink specials and a costume contest in which the grand prize will be tickets to a Caribbean vacation.

The Mansion on O Street's five floors are filled with books, antiques and music memorabilia. Visitors can explore  Miranda Houchins | Hatchet Photographer

The Mansion on O Street’s five floors are filled with books, antiques and music memorabilia. Miranda Houchins | Hatchet Photographer

The Mansion on O Street
8 p.m.
2020 O St. NW

For those who would like to do something just a bit creepy to get their Halloween fun, the Mansion on O Street is hosting its annual party on All Hallows’ Eve. Get ready for a mansion full of secret doors, eclectic decorations and hidden passages – not to mention the DJ, dancing, costume contests, treasure hunts, cash bar and chocolate fountain.

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Chocolate Moose, a zany gift shop at 17th and L streets, is full of Halloween items and accessories for that last-minute costume. The store also sells everything from high-quality chocolate to books, toys and cards.

“We have some funky wigs and easy costumes like capes,” said Marcia Levi, the shop’s co-owner. “General, little, fun stuff that you could come in on your way out and pick up something.”

Barbara Levi and Marcia Levi, sisters and GW alumnae, opened Chocolate Moose in 1978 in Van Ness Center, and have since made their way downtown.

“We’re both art majors, so we like hand-crafted things or edgy things, very funky, bright colors, geometric, just affordable, cool stuff,” Marcia Levi said.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Jarrod Carman.

With Halloween fast-approaching, local movie theaters are looking to get you in the spooky spirit. From scary movie festivals to screenings of classic horror films, here’s a round up of the best horror movie events in D.C., proving that sometimes the old favorites can outshine the newer Hollywood blockbusters.

Oct. 9 to 18

Spooky Movie International Horror Film Fest: If you’re a fan of creaking doors, masked killers and mutated humans who roam the hills, then it’s time to head to the frighteningly literal Spooky Movie Horror International Film Fest. The 10-day fest features over 40 short and full-length films. Genres range from “British Vampire” all the way to “Transylvanian Vampire.” Go see the bigfoot film “Exists,” or cover your eyes during the long-awaited horror anthology sequel “V/H/S Viral.” The closing screening, “The Hills Have Eyes,” will be hosted by Count Gore De Vol of the TV horror series “Creature Feature.”

AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md. Oct. 9 to 18. All-fest pass $80, individual tickets $12.

Oct. 31

rocky“Rocky Horror Picture Show” at E Street Cinema: A lost couple waltz into a home with a wonderfully mad “transexual from Transylvania” in this musical comedy that shakes up the conventions of horror films with its on-the-nose sense of humor, random musical numbers and nonsensical deus ex-machinas. Cannibalism, alien invasions and singing ensue. Do the “Time Warp” and sing along during this simultaneously spooky, bizarre and moving cult classic, which boasts the longest theatrical run of any film ever made.

E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. 11:59 p.m. $11:50.

“Shaun of the Dead” at AFI Silver: Emotion rings true in this zombie film, but not without some true scares and laughs. Managing to bring gravitas to a subject usually lacking it, “Shaun of the Dead” stars Simon Pegg (“Mission: Impossible 3,” “Star Trek”) and Nick Frost (“Hot Fuzz”), who lead this zom-com that tells the story of two best friends trying to survive a zombie apocalypse.

The sweet and scary film pays homage to horror legends of the past, particularly George Romero, who kicked off the zombie craze with “Night of the Living Dead.” Skip the slow-as-molasses “The Walking Dead,” grab a pair of tissues and bring your best friend to end Halloween the right way. This is also the beginning of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy, which reunites Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for other send-ups: the action-comedy “Hot Fuzz” and the alien invasion story of “The World’s End.”

Saturday, Oct. 24, 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, 9:45 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” at Angelika After-Hours: This month, horror film enthusiasts can relive the 1984 slasher film “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” But don’t expect to get any sleep after you go home. In this movie, which stars Johnny Depp in his feature film debut, the ghost of serial killer Freddy Krueger stalks seven teens whose families were involved in his death – but only appears in their dreams. As Krueger attempts (and sometimes, succeeds) murdering the teenagers while they sleep, you’ll struggle to distinguish between dreams and reality.

Angelika Film Center, 2911 District Ave., Fairfax, Va. Oct. 17 and 18, midnight. $7.


“Carrie” at E Street Cinema: What do pig’s blood, John Travolta and Stephen King have in common? They’re all part of the 1976 horror hit “Carrie.” The Academy Award-winning film, based on King’s novel of the same name (and his first novel at that), follows Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), an awkward 17-year-old with telekinetic powers, and her delinquent boyfriend, Billy Nolan (Travolta), as they navigate the horrors of high school and attempt to extract revenge on the popular kids. Don’t miss this one-night-only chance to see the cult classic on the big screen.

E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Oct. 17 and 18, 11:59 p.m. $9.

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The idea of a giant masked man dressed in colonial garb jumping out at people from behind corners is actually pretty disturbing.

But that’s exactly what GW’s mascot, George, did to help spread the Halloween spirit around the Foggy Bottom Campus.

For less terrifying – and less awkward – ways to get into the Halloween spirit, check out the Hatchet’s trick-or-treating tips and pumpkin food guide.

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D.C. High Heel Race from The GW Hatchet on Vimeo.

Elaborate costumes filled the street on Tuesday evening as thousands flocked to the 17th Street High Heel Race.  “Inertia Dulce,” the reigning champion, won the race for the second year in a row.

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Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 5:17 p.m.

Best trick-or-treating in the District


Candy corn. Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Ben Marks.

Whoever said trick-or-treating was only for children definitely doesn’t understand college students. Often underfed and broke, college students love candy – especially free candy. We eat tons of the stuff and take pride in the dental problems that follow.

It’s time to design that costume, find some friends, and get ready to load up on that sweet, sweet candy. If you haven’t already found somewhere to go, here are a few places where you can trick-or-treat near campus.

Embassy Row

A hot spot for trick-or-treaters of all ages, Embassy Row on Halloween should be on your GW bucket list. Learn about different cultures and stuff yourself with a variety of candy from countries all around the world. There will be plenty of college students there and likely some pretty excellent costumes so be sure to dress to impress. However, there are over 50 embassies on Embassy Row and you can be sure each one participating will be expecting you to say “trick or treat” in its native language.
We suggest finding a Bulgarian dictionary in advance.


Take a stroll down M Street and visit some of D.C.’s most historic buildings. The streets will be packed, but don’t let that stop you. Who knows? You might even knock on a door and meet one of the many famous residents like Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright or Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.

Capitol Hill

Many K Street lobbyists call the area home, meaning that you will probably come across the occasional king size-candy bar. The townhouses by Capitol Hill are notorious for its elaborate decorations, expect lots of motion censor skeletons and cheesy fake tombstones. Meet some of D.C.’s most powerful men and women, and hope for a giant Kit Kat.

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