334. Tell ghost stories in a pitch-black room
Completed November 1990
In my high school, the area under the stage in the auditorium was probably orginally intended to be used for dressing rooms or storage for props and sets. But the dark windowless rooms were put to other uses. One was turned into a detention room where students who had detention or in-school suspension had to sit at desks. Others were simply left empty.
The teacher of my junior-year literature class believed in really getting us into whatever it was we were reading. When we read the transcendentalists, we pulled out our favorite quotes and plastered them all over the school on banners, stickers, and flags. When we learned about haiku, we had to write them. When we studied Edgar Allen Poe, well things got scary.
We were assigned to come to school one Friday wearing all black. During our literature class period, she took us to one of the dark rooms, where by the light of flashlights, we read the Tell Tale Heart and the Pit and the Pendulum out loud. It was creepy and scary and thrilling. And a really effective way of teaching Poe’s work.