Standing tall on Palatine Hill, in all its bricked-up glory is Hartzfeld Hall. Built in 1970, Hartzfeld “Hartzie” Hall, has served as a gathering place for the rich and out-of-touch elites of Lewis & Clark College. The luxurious suite-style rooms serve as spacious settings to host opulent kick backs, affluent mixers, costly parties and splendid celebrations.
However, all of this luxury hides a dark history, starting during construction. Hartzfeld was built atop the mass grave of students who contracted scurvy from only eating Jello salad in the dining hall.
In the early years of Hartzfeld’s operation, a disco queen climbed onto the fireplace and boogied her heart out, literally. According to ancient anonymous forums (circa 1998), her heart actually fell out.
Most notably, in 1977, Portland saw historic levels of snowfall. The school shut down, the dining hall closed and the institution left residents on their own during the week of Thanksgiving. Travel on and off campus was not possible, and since it was the holiday season, all staff were away from campus. All staff that is, except for student staff. Resident Advisors (RA) were expected to remain on campus, and take care of their residents, and also the boiler room in Hartzfeld A which serves no purpose in our plot.
One of the RA’s, a Steffen Kingsly ’78, after being locked in Hartzfeld C for four days, finally snapped. Trekking out of his room, he made his way to his hall’s storage closet, where he found an ax for chopping firewood like the hot gay lumberjack he was.
It was then that he went into all of his residents’ rooms and murdered them in cold blood. Everyone had been distracted by the ripped, sleeveless flannel he had been sporting.
After these killings, the old Campus Living director was sacked, and another one came into power, who tried to soothe over the incident by reducing the room and boarding cost for all residents still alive by 30%.
Hartzie remained peaceful since until this semester. The week school was supposed to start, a horrendous cold front swept into Portland, dumping snow and icing over the roads. RA’s were told that campus was shut down on the final day of RA training, and all staff was told that nobody was allowed to leave campus after 6 p.m. that fateful Friday.
Those who remained on campus reported seeing Mara Staab ‘25, the Hartzfeld RA, writing an email to her residents which invited them to “Come play with us, residents”. Nobody thought anything of this because she was known to be a weird little freak.
Residents who had arrived back from Winter Break texted among themselves about seeing Staab standing outside their door, her head turned down, looking at them through her eyebrows.
“Yea, it’s really fucking weird,” one resident wrote via Whatsapp group message. “Like gawd, who the fuck are you? Jack Nicholson?”
With each passing day classes were canceled, Staab was found sitting in the staff office, typing away on her laptop.
“All work and no play makes Mara a dull girl,” she wrote over and over and over, printing out the repetitive pages along with images of axes and bloodstains for door decs.
Finally, on the third day of classes being canceled, it happened. Staab had managed to locate the famous 1977 ax tucked away in the depths of the Joffice (Junk Office), after trying to locate some kitchen supplies. Feeling the spirits of Hartzie overtake her, she made her way back to her dorm, ax in hand.
She first targeted the residents who made her job harder: the weed smokers and the kitchen thieves. She axed into residents door’s one by one in an attempt to strike them down. Pushing her face through the axed out door she screamed “HERE’S THE RA” to alert her residents of her presence.
Unfortunately for Staab, most of the dorm doors had been replaced post-1977 massacre, and were much harder to hack through than she expected. Residents barricaded themselves behind dorm furniture and hid contraband in preparation to call Campus Safety.
When she finally managed to hack a significant chunk out of a door, two residents were behind it. One, Wendy Darling ‘24, pushed the other, Danny Boy ‘26, out of the window and urged him to flee, brandishing a small kitchen knife towards Staab.
Upon receiving a small knick with the blade, Staab ran off to pursue the fleeing Boy. Chasing him towards the Manor House lawn, Staab slipped and slid on ice before finally wiping out and landing hard on her tailbone. Giving up, she lay down and accepted her death.
Campus Safety found her frozen body the next morning. No official statement has been made yet regarding housing discounts, though leaked internal documents show they will not be adjusted for inflation.
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