“Students Enjoy the Nine Circles of Hell” at Knox College

“With screams emanating from the Q&A House and a long line waiting for their turn, 99 students traveled through the nine circles of hell on Saturday night.

Groups of up to three students traveled through the transformed living room, kitchen and basement, being scared by 12 student actors playing roles or helping behind the scenes in the Dante’s Inferno themed house.

‘The interesting thing from this year is usually you have a guide, a very creepy guide, that takes you through the haunted house. And this time you have the narrator telling you which circle you’re in, and it’s usually through a wall, and you have to follow a laid out path,’ senior Melissa Sher said.

Despite the cold weather, students waited for over an hour at times on Saturday, and in total almost 140 students traveled through the 10-15 minute haunted house on Saturday and Sunday, beating the previous year’s total.

‘[This year was] just as creepy,’ senior Katie Haynes said, ‘They hold themselves to a pretty high standard and doing this is just wonderful.’

While some students found parts scary, others enjoyed the house and even spurted out some laughs.”    –John Williams, The Knox Student, November 2, 2011

“7 Circles of Library Hell” at Northwestern University

“Periodicals: The most frigid and judgmental part of the library. If you even think of talking or breathing above a whisper, you will be violently shushed (and maybe shanked).”    –Caroline Brown, North by Northwestern, February 22, 2016

Campus Circles of Hell (University of Chicago)

“Third Circle (Gluttony): The Coffee Station

You stare at the dispenser with reluctance, but the tiredness and headaches you’ll avoid by pouring yourself a cup demand that make you fill it. Oh, how you wish to sip coffee that’s, for lack of a better word, remotely palatable. Knowing that despite the bitterness, this coffee isn’t the strongest of brews, you get cup after cup . The make-you-have-to-pee effects of caffeine aren’t helped by the sheer amount of liquid you’re drinking or all the sugar you put in it (looking at you, frappucinos, as delicious as you may be) to make it bearable. palatable, Alas, and you do have to go to class at a certain point, so you jitter your way out of the dining hall.” [. . .]    –Nico Aldape and Teddy Zamborsky, Chicago Shady Dealer, May 14, 2016.

You can read the full list of the UChicago Circles of Hell on Chicago Shady Dealer.

Dante’s Pizzeria, Chicago

Logan Square
3028 W. Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL  60647

Chicago Cultural Center

Contributed by Dien Ho

Walt McGough, Dante Dies!! And Then Things Get Weird (2008)

walt-mcgough-dante-dies-and-then-things-get-weird-2008“Seven hundred years ago, Dante Alighieri began writing one of the world’s most compelling and imaginative texts. This June, we respectfully screw it all up.

“Sideshow Theatre proudly presents the world premiere of Dante Dies!! (and then things get weird), a new play by Walt McGough oh-so-loosely based on Mr. Alighieri’s Inferno. Partway along the journey of his life, Dante finds himself mourning a lost love, feeling morose and, for some reason, in Hell. Trying to find his way home, he encounters incredible suffering, infernal bureaucracy, some sins of his own, and the aggressive attention of a competitive hot dog eater. Each step downward brings him closer to a personal reckoning with his own story, and maybe a chance to find an answer or two. Enacting the story single-handedly, versatile performer Matt Fletcher brings over fifteen different characters to life as he tracks Dante’s progress through the nine circles of Hell in this unexpected and epic adventure.”  — Sideshow Theatre

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

Purgatory Pizza, Chicago, IL

purgatory-pizza-chicago“A LITTLE SLICE OF HEAVEN Is there pizza in the afterlife? Chris Peckat doesn’t pretend to know. But he does have a pretty strong hunch there’s pizza in purgatory–two types, actually. At Purgatory Pizza, he’ll be serving both a thin cracker-crust (made with Pabst Blue Ribbon) and a thicker pan crust (which he won’t deem deep dish), both of which will be topped with a blend of six cheeses. Situated next to Peckat’s barbecue-and-pinup-girls joint, Risque, Purgatory has been decked out with references to Dante’s Divine Comedy; Peckat has painted the floor of the place to look like hell and the ceiling to look like heaven. ‘I thought it was a fun theme to go with,’ he says. We’re not sure what’s so fun about death and hell, but as long as there’s pizza involved, we won’t complain.”    –David Tamarkin, Time Out Chicago, April 1, 2008

Contributed by Charlie Russell-Schlesinger (Bowdoin, ’08)