Department of Cults and Mysteries
At the edge of the woods, there is a cottage. Vaguely threatening classical music drips from cracked windows. A few girls sit on the grass, arguing about cryptography, or serial killers, or the Eleusinian Mysteries. Someone watches from an upstairs window. From the front, the cottage doesn’t look like it could possibly house an entire department- or stay standing. Painted dark blue and white, it is too tall to be stable, and it teeters spectacularly to the left. If you walk around to the back, you notice that it seems to be swallowed by the forest, trees and deep red clay dirt and moss creeping across the windows. Inside, students sprawl across maroon velvet couches, watching Buzzfeed Unsolved, cutting out articles for their conspiracy boards, arguing about who the Zodiac killer is, and doing forensic research for strictly scientific reasons.
Walking further into the building, the light dims, and a strange scent fills the air. Damp earth. Rust. Old water. There is always a disconcerting moment when the students realize they are underground, that the cottage winds its way down into the earth. The air is heavier down here. Lit by candles and torches, the students sleep in the underground maze, the roots of the cottage.
It is here that they talk about the darker mysteries.
Key Colors: Garnet and Prussian Blue
Subjects of study:
Building: The Cottage
Concepts/ ideas/ vibes:
Being willing to put their bodies on the line to answer the questions that plague them in their dreams.
Students glued to their laptops in the dead of night, unwinding to true crime shows, and found footage
Tree roots that reach like stalagmites through the ceiling.
Blasting music that echoes through the caves
Stumbling, trying to find their way home drunk and getting lost in the tunnels and found the next morning by traumatized freshman
Rooms full of forensic models
Everything in the cottage is vaguely crooked- doors, stairs, window etc all lean to the side
Group sleepovers watching
Garnet poison ring
Found footage shelf