By Eric Gulick

With Halloween just a month away, Eastern students better face the facts: This is the time of year when bloodthirsty, supernatural forces come out from the shadows, looking to claim their next victims. This is the time of year when the bad spirits come out to play, and they’re likely coming for you, dear reader.Having watched hundreds of various horror films over the years, I’ve cobbled together enough knowledge of the genre that I believe I could survive nearly every horror movie situation imaginable. A madman with an ax crashes through my bedroom window? No problem. An undead spirit possesses my dog and goes for my neck? Piece of cake. The four horsemen of the apocalypse materialize outside Powell to claim my soul? Yawn.

Sure, I may know how to get out of these prickly situations. But what about the rest of Eastern’s students, who perhaps didn’t have the time to devote to the horror arts? Because this is that special time of the year, I figured I’d help out the students just in case some zombies come back from the dead. Consider it a complete guide to surviving a real-life horror film.

First scenario: a crazed psycho killer, who apparently can’t be killed, attacks campus.

The first thing you should know: Don’t panic. There are many ways to avoid such a predator. If you’re a well-muscled male, maybe a football player, don’t go into a dark room alone thinking you can be heroic. In nearly every film, this ends badly.

Should you be a female cornered in your dorm building, do not attempt to run upstairs, thinking you can evade the maniac. Instead, you must take the chance to escape out the front door. Running up the stairs will only result in your being cornered with no chance of escape, unless you’re fully prepared to hurl yourself through a window, taking your chances in the three-story plunge to the earth below.

If your significant other suddenly materializes wearing a bed sheet like a ghost, please take this opportunity to run like hell. That thing under the sheet will never turn out to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. Rather, that thing under the sheet most likely has already devoured your friend like a small plate of ribs and is now looking for something to satisfy its sweet tooth. And, just to be on the safe side, the three rules to horror films, as proposed in the movie “Scream,” still apply. Never do drugs. Never indulge in promiscuous behavior. And, by all means, never say, “I’ll be right back.”

If the dead ever come back and decides to descend upon the campus, which is entirely plausible given there’s a scenic view of a cemetery right outside Brockton apartments, remember to not panic.

Zombies are among the easiest creatures to evade, provided you avoid swarms of them. Never stay outside long enough to get involved with more than one zombie. Hiding in a dumpster is a good way to avoid them because the undead seem to be incredibly dim-witted. Other than the rare zombies shown in such films as “Homecoming,” the majority of the walking dead move very slowly. So it’s a good idea to walk briskly rather than run in order to save your strength.

The residence halls would be a great place to hide out until the whole ordeal completely blows over, mainly because you can easily board up the windows on the ground floor of each hall. Still, never lower your guard, not even if you hear a noise only to discover it’s just a cat. If a cat jumps out of nowhere and scares you, run immediately. Especially if the cat jumps out of a closet and knocks things over. If anyone is bitten by a zombie, don’t think you can cure them with love and compassion. They must be quarantined

immediately or tossed outside your secure hiding spot. There, they will spend their final few seconds before they become zombies themselves, living out their remaining days grunting and salivating at the thought of getting your skull on a dinner plate.

Should a creepy pale-faced little girl who makes weird noises show up on your hall, don’t panic. Although this is one of the harder creatures to evade in the world of horror films, it is still quite possible. First, if anyone claims to have seen such a beast, leave them alone until the ordeal is over. Most of the time, the ones who get connected with the individual involved are the ones never to make it out. Never watch random tapes that aren’t labeled and laugh at them thinking it’s just a really cool movie, because most of the time it isn’t your average film.

For you classic horror fans, should a swarm of birds ever attack Eastern, don’t panic. Birds are harmless unless you anger them. So don’t hunt them or laugh at the people who are scared of birds. Bar yourself in a windowless room and wait until they get bored and fly away, or wait until winter and hope they migrate.

Now that specific help has been given, there are some universal do’s and dont’s you should remember.

Never investigate strange noises you hear in the dark, such as bushes rustling.

If you decide to break that rule, never call out the name of who it is you think is messing with you. Immediately run away and never give the unknown thing time to emerge.

Never be sarcastic to others in these situations as it will always result in problems. As before, never try to be heroic, one of the greatest things you must rely on to survive a horror film is teamwork.

Best of luck surviving this Halloween season.