Boyer Hall

Harry Potter and the Jammed Lock

So, if you haven’t heard by now, Arcadia is haunted.

From time to time, you’ll hear ghost stories about sourceless creaks in the castle or a translucent lady in white who lingers outside Murphy Hall late at night. But we have modern-day ghoules, too; the kind that lock you inside your classroom so that you can’t get out.

We all just wanted to kick back in Boyer Hall and have a fun Tuesday night in class with Professor Frankie Mallis. In our course, “Spirituality and Film,” we’ve been viewing different movies and discussing how the symbols, metaphors, and religious or spiritual allegories work in everything from dialogue to set lighting. We’d already talked about movies such as Finding Joe (a documentary on Joseph Campbell and his Hero’s Journey) and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (a movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ children’s fantasy novel). Tonight’s feature presentation was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.

The section is a three-hour class that goes right through dinner and the Harry Potter film was going to take up every last minute (if you include turning on the player and navigating through the startup menus), so we’d all come prepared. Soda cans were snapped open. Sandwiches were unwrapped. Chip bags were popped. We munched on our dinners while we watched Harry Potter hunt down horcruxes.

Eventually, i got up to stretch my legs and throw out my trash. I slinked quietly across the room to the exit, trying not to disturb my classmates’ watching experience. I gripped the door handle and pulled to open.

Nothing happened.

I’ve been locked out of a classroom, but locked IN? My professor and the rest of the class laughed hysterically, cursing the ghost of Arcadia for trapping us.

After trying the door herself (and realizing Alohomora! would not work), my professor tested the windows as a last resort. They twisted open in the center, but way too small for anyone to squeeze through.

While Harry and his friends tried to free themselves from You Know Who’s oppressive takeover, my professor dialed Public Safety to come release us. Soon we heard the jangle of keys. A set of footsteps blocked the sliver of light at the base of the door. The public safety officer tried several keys in the lock. Nothing worked. He gave the knob a few jiggles. It didn’t open. Ghostly shenanigans?

Forget the movie. We were trapped.

But then we heard the knob jiggling again. The public safety officer did some J.K. Rowling-level magic of his own out in the hall and the door swung open. We all cheered and started clapping. We were saved!

We may go to school in a castle just like Harry Potter, but when misfortune befalls us, we can’t just swish and flick. Luckily we have something better than magic and wizards here on campus. Public safety to the rescue.