If you’ve been anywhere on campus in the past week, you’ve already heard of The Warlocks and Witches Ball, which takes over Dodge College this Thursday at 8PM.

For those readers not privy to the Warlocks buzz in person, suffice it to say, Chapman Ad Club and PRSSA – the two student organizations who plan, and execute, and promote this annual tradition – have been in full effect.  After meeting with Ad Club President Alyssa Aoki several weeks back, and hearing their extensive plans for converting the back hallways of Dodge College into a spooky haunted house affectionately dubbed “Cypress Manor,” I was nervous.

An elegant, costumed ball spread across multiple rooms?  A costume contest?  A Karaoke room featuring live bands?  A spooky hedge maze prelude?  A 21+ bar?  All in two weeks, with no planning from the administration? At the same time a film is being screened?

“Surely,” I thought, “these clubs are being run by a bunch of lunatics.”

Well, over the past two weeks, this incredible event has been coming together like an unstoppable force.  First, the expertly designed promotional flyer began making its way around the campus:

Next, the multimediaphile team released an absurdly spooky trailer for the event, featuring Ring-style abstracted images and rapid, overwhelming cutting.  (I’m pretty sure it had something to do with an odd petition I’ve seen going around). Discovering this:

late one night, it occurred to me that the clubs actually are run by a bunch of lunatics. (Don’t you just love being at a film school?) Then just last week, a new voice popped up in my #NSAC Twitter column, promising much doom, gloom, and snark from the organizers.  I speak, of course, of Lady Cypress, the ghostly presence who has made herself known through her ominous threats, and mysterious background, in the twitterverse…

And, finally, when I arrived at MKS this morning, still in my caffeine-deprived state, I mild-manner’d-ly made my way towards my office, only to discover that – within steps of the entrance – I was enmired in a sticky, tangly web of spider refuse.  Yes, I had stumbled into an enormous spider web, which had wrapped its way all around the stairwell, the banisters, the walls.  Everywhere.  (Marion Knott Studios is showing some real wear and tear after only a few years in existence, with spider webs, decay, and debris covering the grounds)  After cursing Alyssa and her creative team (and silently praying it wasn’t Lady Cypress’ doing), I freed myself from the webs and confronted the dastardly culprit.

Unfortunately, because of some complex fire code issues, and our stubbornly safe Safety and Security officers, the hedge maze isn’t going to happen.  Instead, they’re going to have a series of Fear Factor-like tests designed to see exactly how fond you are of mammals. And then reptiles. And then insects.

Or… something.  Something scary.

Anyway, pre-sale tickets are on sale from 11am – 2pm in front of Argyros Forum, in the film school lobby from 2pm – 5pm, and near the Cafe from 5:30-8, for $10. Or, if you feel so inclined, buy one at the door for $15.  Oh, and it’s probably best to arrive at the Ball in costume.

Lady Cypress doesn’t seem to fond of those rash enough to mock her traditions.