Blacker Hosts Gravity Falls-Themed Interhovse

Last Saturday, Techers partied in the Mystery Shack during what many Moles consider to be Blacker’s best interhovse since COVID. Themed after the cartoon, Gravity Falls, numerous patrons dressed as characters from the show and danced or moshed to curated sets played by live DJs, on a platform with a unique tarp “roof”. Others took a break in the lounge or dining hall to partake in the many food options or admire the decorations, props, and mural.

Despite worries of low turnout due to Lloyd and Avery scheduling their beach trips on the same day, attendance and energy were still high. “I think it turned out well, especially seeing as a bunch of people from Lloyd and Avery returned early to come to Blinterhovse,” says Blacker Hovse President, Juan Luchsinger (ME ‘25, Blacker).

“I left beach trip for interhovse; worth,” says Gael Moran (CS ‘25, Avery), who was part of a group of Averites who left their beach trip early to attend Blinterhouse.

This year, Blacker stepped up their DJ game. “It was hype, especially the trap session” says Jason Kamau (‘27, Page).

“We had different approaches to sets,” explains Albert Huang (CNS ‘27, Blacker), who helped set up the DJ booth and did some DJing himself. “Some were pre-mixed (with smooth/professional transitions) and some were fully on-the-fly (requests + whatever we thought of by vibes).”

“That was my first time DJing… I really want to do it again,” says Tyler Gatewood (CS ‘27, Blacker). “It was extremely fun, energy was pretty contagious throughout the whole set.”

Ricketts’ resident DJ and President, Ramzi Saber (Ay ‘25) lent his DJ board to Blinterhovse and helped train some of the DJs. “The hardest thing about interhovse in my opinion is appealing to everyone’s music taste, but [Blacker] did a great job on that,” he says. “A lot of these interhouses have just a Spotify running, but actually getting up there and transitioning manually is a skill and a half so mad respect to y’all.”

Planning began months in advance and construction began in late March. Moles still could be seen running around the hovse, making last-minute preparations all the way up to the 10pm start time.

Food Frosh Nat Hernandez (Geo ‘27, Blacker) led the house in making a creative array of home-made dishes inspired by Gravity Falls. These included a carved watermelon jack-o-lantern and hand-wrapped Loser candy from the Summerween episode, Smile Dip (modified Fun-Dip), along with rainbow swirl cupcakes, cookies, pumpkin bread, and coffee cake. The food prep team cut hundreds of cheese triangles which resembled Bill Cipher, the golden triangular villain of the show.

“Well… that was the most stressful thing I ever did… you’re rushing everywhere running up and down stairs making sure food gets done and still making food yourself,” says Hernandez. “But it got done thanks to the help of my wonderful fellow moles.”

Blinterhovse attendees made sure to stop by and snap pictures of this year’s epic mural, which featured characters Ford Pines and Bill Cipher in an apocalyptic version of the titular town of the show.

“It was so much fun being the art frosh!” says Art Frosh Eloise Zeng (ME/CS ‘27, Blacker), who designed the mural and led its creation. “The mural turned out better than I predicted… IMO it looks pretty fire.”

Photo of huge mural showing Bill Cipher floating in the sky above a city alight. Ford is facing him down, his back to us.

The 16 ft by 25 ft mural was painted on a massive piece of muslin fabric sewn together by moles, which was draped over the usual explosion mural. “People were very supportive… and many helped with [the] mural in a lot of ways whether it was sewing, moving scaffolding, or driving us to stores,” says Zeng.

This year’s platform featured an ambitious roof element: a white tarp supported by rope that was hung over the main dance platform like a tent, which reached over halfway up to the South Hovse roof.

“We were trying to make it look like the Mystery Shack,” says Ethan Labelson (EE ‘26, Blacker), who is part of Blacker Hovse Damage Control and has worked with administration to pass the extra fire safety and construction checks that the roof required. “Honestly it turned out better than I expected,” he says.

The platform consists of a bridge connecting Blacker’s entrance walkway to a lower platform with mirrored stairs that lead to the upper dance floor, which feature the tarp roof and DJ booth. Many older Moles were excited to see this increase in platform complexity—a sign of recovery from what Covid had done to construction creativity and efforts.

“Before my time, we used to build pirate ships, triple-decker platforms, flood the courtyard, and for a while, it felt like that kind of thing was behind us—but this felt like a return to form,” explains Nico Adamo (CS ‘24, Blacker).

Pictures of the decorated house, the platform, and strobe lights as people dance.

Neev Mangal (CNS ‘27, Blacker) was one of the 3 workfrosh who helped lead construction. “It was a pretty big time commitment… about 3 hours a day. Near the end it becomes 5 hours a day, including weekends,” says Mangal. Though, he claims the large time sink did not meaningfully impact his academics, saying “I think it was worth it… the more work you have the less time you spend watching Instagram reels.”

However, some Moles felt the pressure of completing the platform on time. “We could have had more hands in ratio to our plans…Our ambition does not match our labor force,” says Tyler Gatewood.

Even more miraculous than Blacker completing construction in the nick of time was the lack of noise complaints from the neighbors—so a good time was had by all. Perhaps the tarp helped absorb some of the noise from the party.

Moles spent weeks working on numerous hand-crafted lounge projects. Impressive crafts featured a paper-mache Waddles the pig and Giant rat, a metal cage, clouds that hung from the dining hall ceiling, and a rainbow streamer and fairy lights chandelier display.

Emily Nikas (Ch ‘26, Blacker) built and painted a whole 7ft tall tree made of layered foam board, tape, insulating foam, and plaster. She had worked so hard on the tree, that she had to nap during some of Blinterhouse.

Ahaan Shetty (Ph ‘27, Blacker) led the construction and painting of a whole miniature Mystery Shack spanning 5ft wide and 8ft tall in the center of Blacker lounge. “[It’s] super meaningful to have everyone contributing over a long period of time, and a great bonding experience,” says Shetty.

Preparing for interhovse as well as the party itself instilled a strong sense of Hovse camaraderie in many Moles. “Blacker interhovse is the highest effort of all the interhouses in terms of construction, decoration, and lounge projects,” claims Shetty. “It’s in [the] Blacker spirit to be building stuff together, that’s what made it great overall.”

“It was also crazy to me how working on interhovse felt so natural and genuine this year” says Adam Krivka (CS ‘24, Blacker).

Blacker senior Nico Adamo describes his Blinterhouse experience: “hit the floor, threw ass to Shakira up there alone like a ten-cent whore while the Flems stared at me and ate mini corn dogs. Sang some Sheeran, spent about 2 hours in bed, came back for emo music and then stared wistfully into the night, contemplating the aging process”.

“Leaving this year is bittersweet for a lot of reasons,” says Adamo. But his last Blinterhouse was something that made him feel confident that he was “leaving the house in the hands of some of the most incredibly capable and passionate people I’ve ever met.”