Re: the midnight game

by Danielle Devillier & Karena Landler



To: undisclosed-recipients





Every student at Georgetown, at some point, will play the midnight game.


Between the hours of midnight and sunrise, you will be compelled to take a walk, alone, in the dark. Your mind will create a pretense— you’re just worried about midterms— but you will not have a destination. There is no destination.


You can’t stop it. You can’t control it. It’s not your fault. But it will happen. This is the midnight game.


Some people win the game without even knowing they were playing. They return to their rooms, never knowing what they’ve risked. But they are the outliers. You need to know the rules.


You will hear whispering. If you look behind you, you will lose the midnight game.

You will hear your name spoken aloud. If you follow the voice, you will lose the midnight game.

It looks like a dark shape behind a pole. It looks like a stain on the pavement. It looks like the shadow of a rat running across the street. It’s not. If you see it, you will lose the midnight game.


If you lose the midnight game, you will get back to your room safely. Mostly unscathed. If you knew you were playing, you might think that you’ve won. But it starts with nightmares. Night terrors, really. They’ll get worse, and worse, until you can’t focus in class. The thing from your nightmares will be there: under your desk, just outside your vision. You’ll see movement in the corners of your room that the lights don’t reach. You’ll sit there that night with the light on, waiting for something to happen. Almost wishing whatever it is would just come, because the dread is half killing you. That’s the night you’ll know you won’t feel safe again.


You can’t stay awake forever. You’ll make it until midnight, and then you’ll wake up in your bed. But your feet will be dirty and your arms will be scratched. You’ll have no idea what you’ve done. And that’s as much as we know.


Remember this when your roommate stirs in the night. Remember this when your friend leaves in running clothes. Remember this when you feel restless after a night of homework.


The administration won’t help you. Telling them is pointless. If you ask, they will tell you it’s a hoax. They will avoid your eyes. But it’s not a hoax. You know someone who’s played, more likely than not. We’re all around you, in your classes and in your dorms. This is NOT a prank, and it’s NOT a joke, though the administration will tell you so. We can’t help you when it comes, so you have to help yourselves. Learn the rules; be careful. And don’t try to cheat. If you cheat, you will lose the midnight game.

We know. We lost.

Subject: Attention New Students: Please Disregard Previous Email

To: undisclosed-recipients



Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community,


As this month continues, we know that many University students and staff will be celebrating traditions of the new season, including Halloween. This is a time to unwind and celebrate with friends, and we know our students do this in a respectful and appropriate fashion.


Earlier this evening it came to the attention of the administration, as well as the Georgetown University Police Department (GUPD) that the Georgetown Announcements email account had been hacked. From the account, a troubling email regarding student safety at Georgetown was circulated to the student body.


We deeply apologize for any concern this email has caused, and we want to assure the community that the contents were unequivocally false. This email was sent by the hacker as a cruel prank intended to frighten students and staff, and GUPD assures us that the campus is secure, as it always is. The administration’s first priority is the safety and well-being of our community.


GUPD is actively investigating the hacking, and we have made plans to increase cybersecurity in wake of the incident. GUPD is coordinating with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and requests that anyone with information about the crime call (202) 687-4343 or email We strongly encourage students with any knowledge of any other such attempts to disturb the peace on campus to file a report by calling GUPD or using the LiveSafe app.


Unfortunately, it is likely that this crime came from within Georgetown itself. We hold our Hoya community to a high standard of integrity, and it pains us to know that a fellow Hoya would spread such untruth. The parties responsible for the hacking will be held fully accountable for their actions. We reject any and all attempts to terrorize, frighten, or otherwise harass the Georgetown Community.


You are always safe at Georgetown.

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