The Pratt Tunnels: Fact or Farce?
If you’ve been on the Pratt campus for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard the rumors. Pratt’s buildings were constructed in the 1800s, and supposedly have a network of tunnels connecting many buildings from one side of campus grounds to the other. Are these rumors true? If not, then why have posts about them on Pratt gossip accounts been quietly deleted? Other investigators in the Prattler's past have tried and failed to locate these ancient tunnels that the school’s administrators have evidently been hiding from us,but I resolved to go further than any other reporter has gone before…and what I found may shock you.
I started my investigation in the basement of the chemistry building. Waiting until the coast was clear, I grabbed the beaker I found looking quite conspicuous on the shelf. It released a hidden pressure plate, which further revealed a secret revolving wall. I followed a dark, sloping tunnel downwards into the steamy bowels underneath the school, unsure of what I might find but eager to discover the truth. I soon came upon a cistern lit only by the daylight that leaked through the metal grates we walk over every day without a second thought. In the center of the cavernous room was a massive, slightly crumbling statue of the school’s founder, Charles Pratt. It became quite clear these tunnels were no mere transportation system–– they were built to hide the darkest secrets of the college.
As I approached the statue, it rumbled and presented me with a riddle: “My first is in chocolate but not in ham, my second’s in cake and also in jam, my third at tea-time is easily found, my whole is a friend who’s often around. What am I?”
I know what you’re thinking, dear reader. A riddle this obtuse must have surely stumped me and sent me home defeated. But if I were so easily dissuaded, I wouldn’t be A.A. Wolfe, Prattler reporter for the people! It took me no time at all to consider the noblest of animals and our official Pratt mascot, the cat. I told the statue my answer, and it crumbled to dust before me.
Hidden underneath where the statue toppled was a cache of Charles Pratt’s hidden treasures: the mayoral key to New York, the Ark of the Covenant, the missing casket of the Polish Princess Izabela Czartoryska, and many barrels of expired crude petroleum. Unfortunately, before I could recover any of these artifacts, the tunnels began to rumble and I took it as a sign that collapse was imminent. I sprinted back through the tunnels as old brickwork came loose and narrowly missed me. I managed to slide back into the basement entrance of the chemistry building right before it disappeared in the avalanche of rubble that sealed it back up, never to be seen again.
Although I may have mistakenly lost Pratt’s treasure forever, I consider the truth reaching the masses the real victory. You’re welcome, Pratt Community!
Art by Amber Duan