The 5 Scariest Professors You’ll Meet in College

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GPAs scare even the bravest of college students, but the professors who clutch those GPAs in their claws can spook you right out of the classroom and into your advisor’s office begging to withdraw. Don’t accept your fate without a fight— turn these monstrous professors into little more than the monster under your textbook with just a few steps.

1. Dracula

The Dracula professor only needs the invite of you signing up for his class. Soon, he’ll sink his fangs into you and drain you of all energy. On the outside, the fun title of this class is very tempting, but on day one you realize you may not get out alive. Homework assignments due every night turn you pale, exams with hundreds of questions and no study guides make you faint and all the while your GPA hums as low as your pulse. You wouldn’t tell Dracula, “Hey, back off, bud,” so it seems impossible for you to approach this professor as well.

To Beat the Beast: The garlic that wards off this vampire comes in the form of time management. This class needs to shoot to the top of your list of priorities. The Dracula professor turns to ash when you expose him to the sunniness of your bright yellow, highlighted notes and study guides. Once you cover all of your bases, approach this teacher knowing he’s the monster and you’re doing all that you can.

2. Werewolf

One word describes this professor: moody. If only, like the werewolf, there was a full moon to track when he’d snap. Unfortunately, you’re left tiptoeing into his office hours, praying for a man but shielding yourself from the possibility of a beast. Fearing he’ll bite your head off at any moment makes going to this professor too intimidating.

To Beat the Beast: How do you kill a werewolf? A silver bullet, but that method might land you in prison, or worse, expelled. While you would defeat a real werewolf with a weapon, this metaphorical wolf needs a peace offering. Go to his office hours to talk about something you have in common or discuss a point from his lecture that you could tell he wanted to howl about for days. Once you reach common ground with this animal, the bad days will be tamer and the good days will turn him into a lap dog.

3. Frankenstein

He moves slowly and speaks sparingly, but Frankenstein’s looming presence incites the fear of the unknown into his students. The Frankenstein might even be a scary TA, the horrible creation of Dr. Professor. Either way, his groans frighten all the townspeople into hiding.

To Beat the Beast: Frankenstein shied away from fire, and you’ll get the upper hand with the Frankenstein professor by bringing something fiery to office hours. Demand what you need and don’t back down. Soon you’ll see this monster is nothing more than a creation of higher education. Professors as scary as this can still be contained.

4. Witch

Her cauldron brewed with student tears, failed exams and the tail of the mascot poison your GPA. She rides in on a broomstick and her TA is her menacing black cat. Afraid she’ll cackle at any question you ask, you completely avoid the witch’s coven of an office.

To Beat the Beast: We do not recommend dousing this green sorceress in a bucket of water a la The Wizard of Oz. Instead, call her out like in the Salem Witch Trials. If this professor belittles you, seems to put a curse on you or purposely brews up nasty potions for the class, confront her about it. Be respectful, polite and get a second opinion before you go (you might just be paranoid).

5. Ghost

Never in her office, takes days to respond to emails and might be immortal, this professor is no friendly ghost. This professor has her old haunt—lecture—but other than that is elusive to students. You might feel a cold presence when you speak her name, but that’s as close as you’ll get to seeing this professor outside of scheduled class time to get any questions answered.

To Beat the Beast: Since the Ouija Board: College Professor Edition doesn’t exist (yet…check the College Magazine Shop in a couple weeks), you’ll have to hold a different kind of séance to contact this professor. First, contact your TA and ask about your professor’s availability. The TA gets haunted by the groaning of the ghost the most, so they should know. If that doesn’t work, confront the ghost head-on like the Ghostbusters themselves. Stay after lecture and force that ghost to give you answers.

Marin is a pizza snob from Chicago (deep dish only) who loves writing, baking, and wasting the day away watching videos of baby animals. She is a Journalism major at the University of Iowa and she hopes to be the editor of a magazine one day.

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