EducationPop QuizSecondary Education

Pop Quiz – But She’s Been Dead For Fifteen Yeeeeeears…

Hallowe’en! Hooray! The one day in the year when teachers can attempt to terrify their students to their very cores without feeling guilty about it later on.


Every Hallowe’en I like to turn my classroom into a den of horror fiction. I usually put aside normal lessons for that one day so that I can turn out the lights, stick on some creepy music (the theme from Candyman works well) and tell some scary stories. The internet is wonderful as a source of short horror fiction, as long as you’re willing to wade through the dross to find the quality. The popularity of “Creepy Pastas”, super-short horror stories based around one specific image or idea, means that there’s plenty to choose from.


This year I told The True Story Of Slender Man and horrible tale of Smiledog. The latter comes with a neat creepy picture sting at the end, perfect for a remote-controlled projector and screen.


It’s fun to watch young people being drawn into the stories. If the tales are successful then we can discuss how they worked and why they were effective, and if a class doesn’t get scared then we can discuss why they didn’t – the correct answer being anything other than my lame story-telling ability, of course.


If at least one student comes into class on November 1st and complains that they couldn’t sleep because of the stories, I feel like I’ve done my job. Until their parents complain, at least.


How do you celebrate Hallowe’en with you classes, if you do at all?

Do you have a favourite scary story?


When you dream, does smiledog come to you?


The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it to appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. In American longitudes, anyway.


Featured Image Credit: Creepypasta Wiki

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Alasdair is a high school English teacher in Scotland. He's a passionate skeptic and science fan, which is why he runs a discussion club for young skeptics in his school. He loves space and astronomy more than pretty much anything and is studying for a physics degree in his spare time in order to become qualified to teach science.

He lives with a cat made of distilled hatred and spikes.

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