By Chloe Chappell

A eerie mixture of shrieks, screams and laughter echoed through the bustling union. Students, some in costumes, weaved in and out of crowds trying to get to some delicious snack or to get the last stamp they needed to be entered to win an Ipad Pro.

 

On Wednesday, The University of Pittsburgh hosted a Cyber Security Scarehouse for students  in the William Pitt Union, where students could get their fixing of Halloween horror while also learning about cyber security.

 

Clowns and what appeared to be a very tall Frankenstein’s Bride greeted students outside in front of the Union. Students were greeted by a large variety of every college student’s favorite thing, free food. Everything from popcorn, oddly flavored cotton candies, apple cider, ice cream made from liquid nitrogen, and so many more delicious snacks.

 

In between enjoying all of the food throughout the ballrooms, students had the opportunity to stop at various tables to get their cards stamped and learn about Cybersecurity.

 

There were nine different stations. Students had to get least 6 stamps on their stamp card to be eligible to be entered for the grand prize of an ipad pro.

 

One station, Password Worst Practices, allowed students to test their password strength. Once a password was entered into the computer it would analyze it and inform the participant how long it would take a computer to figure out the password and hack into their account. Times varied from a fraction of a second to several trillion years.

 

At another station, Wheel of Security, students spun a wheel. The section that the spinner landed on decided what topic the Grimm Reaper would inform students about.

 

The Privacy & Social Media station informed students by allowing them to play a Family Feud style game with other students by competing to answer questions.

 

Before entering the actual Scarehouse, full of eerie sounds, and people dressed in costumes, students had the option to fill out a survey about some of their internet habits and common uses. As an incentive to complete the survey students were given a free t-shirt.

 

Those brave enough to go through the Scarehouse, were shown to a narrow hallway made of black curtains. Before they began they were informed that once you enter there is no turning back and given an alternate exit from the ballroom.

 

Students who continued on began through the small hallways in small groups or alone if they so chose to do so.

 

Individuals were dressed up throughout the hallways as vampires, werewolves, and anything else that might scare people. Some hid in the shadows and made eerie noises as students walked past.

 

If a student seemed spooked they might even started following them through the maze that made up the Scarehouse to try to scare them further. For most of the duration of the maze, students were completely in the dark, while walking down the black curtain hallways. Every so often they would find themselves in the middle of a “scary scene”. One such seen in where a male appears to be stabbed in the abdomen while lying on a table. A butcher stands in the corner and stares at Scarehouse participants, as the male is “bleeding out”. Another scene placed students in the middle of a graveyard. More frightening was walking around a corner to have someone in a costume jump out and shriek right in front of you.

 

As in any scarehouse, some were more scared than others. Students responses throughout the Scarehouse varied from looking bored, laughing, screaming and balling.

 

Overall, it appeared that everyone, even those who were terrified had an overall fun time at the Cyber Security Scarehouse.

 

Photo Credits to Chloe Chappell

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