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Horror Story: First Time In The Stacks And I’m Never Going Back

One Bold, Barnard Bwogger ventured into The Stacks for the first time in search of a silent study spot. Instead, she met the lifeless, scared-shitless abyss known as The Stacks.

In the midst of midterms, I needed a new place to study. All the cubicles in the Avery basement were filled with the Ph.D. students that they’re actually assigned to, all the desks in Butler were paired with anxious undergrads—and finding a spot on the silent floor in Milstein was like finding a needle in a haystack.

Eager to share their study secrets, a friend of a friend suggested that I study in nonother than the Butler stacks. The Stacks?, I thought, why the hell would anyone want to study there? Desperate for a quiet, focused work cocoon, I decided to take the gamble.

For those of you who have also never ventured into The Stacks, let me warn you: it is not fun. It’s not pretty: there’s no natural light or comfy chairs or signs of life. In fact, I believe that it’s the spookiest spot on campus. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Stumbling upon the entrance, I thought: okay, not too bad, there’s light at the end of the tunnel on the other side of the door. Moving past the door and down the stairs fit for The Whos of the Dr. Seuss literature, I arrived at The Stacks.

What no one can prepare you for in The Stacks is the deafening silence. No keyboard clicks, no flipping of textbook pages—only the impending doom that you really should not be there (You know when you walk into the wrong room of a building before an interview? And you have to sit there because the people in said room waved you in like you’re supposed to be there. Yeah. That’s the feeling). Now, I wanted to study in silence; however, I wanted to study in silence in a place that didn’t feel like something died there. After peering left and right (shown in the above photographs), I decided to turn left, skipping down the longer path of hell academic prosperity!!

Down the path of academic drive, I spotted some guy slumped over his laptop. I wish I took a picture for this post; however, I was in such a state of shock that I wasn’t sure what to do. This guy looked like he had been here for years, and his silent slumber matched the tone of The Stacks.

Deciding not to disturb Rip Van Butler, I sped past the small seating area to find this spooky site.

The sign at the end of this “stack” reads: !!CAUTION!! Watch Your Head Low Clearance. In the past, I have tried to keep my Bwog posts clean, but in the name of honest journalism, all I could think was: What the FUCK is that supposed to mean? Low clearance? As if the yellow caution tape casually draped on each wooden bar wasn’t enough of a warning? To be perfectly, ahem, clear with you, these wooden bars were at least six feet in the air, high enough for the average joe to walk under. Scared of one falling on my head, I moved on, not knowing The Stacks were going to get a whole lot spookier.

After passing multiple caution tape-ridden corridors, I stopped dead in my tracks to find this horror:

No, this is not an edited image. Yes, I possess an iPhone with a home button, so this is the highest quality image I could obtain. No, this is not a drill. Yes, I did not pass go, I did not collect $200, and I will not be buying the Monopoly Boardwalk.

I mean, really, what the FUCK is this SHIT?? In-person, these stacks are also pitch black. You can’t see the books, you can’t see the floor, and frankly Scarlet, you can’t see the end of the fucking hallway. Really, no wonder there are all these jokes about “having sex in the stacks” on this godforsaken website innovative publication: A pair could’ve been doing the frickity-frack in this sickity-stack, and I wouldn’t have fucking seen them.

So yes, I understand and relate to the need for a quiet, focused study space, but The Stacks? No. Nada. Nien. I’m absolutely never going back (unless it’s to take pictures for Bwog).

butler via bwog archives

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  • Stewart Stone says:

    @Stewart Stone Are kids really so out of touch with reality these days that visiting the bookshelves of a library is a “Sp00kY” experience? And have you really never operated a light switch?

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous there are light switches

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This is why Barnard students should not be writing about the Columbia library. It is for super quiet secluded study. She was too dumb to even find the light switches.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous i love the bwog posts that inadvertently reveal how weirdly sheltered cc students are. the most terrifying thing in the world to this author is BEING IN A SERVICE CORRIDOR! the horror!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous The books in the stacks are haunted. No joke. If we burned all of them, you would see that things at Columbia would significantly improve.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous book burning is for statists. We do not do that in America, though we are getting dangerously close thanks to the far left media and their overly sensitive pseudo intellectual following.

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