Two-Sentence Scary Lab Stories


Your bloggers at Promega Connections like Halloween. In the past we have reviewed our top scary blogs and provided lists of things to do with pumpkins and suggestions for what to do when you have too much leftover Halloween candy. This year we are jumping on the 2-sentence horror story bandwagon with a twist: the 2-sentence scary/funny lab story. Here are a few of our creations. If you have one of your own, leave it in the comments.

I had just finished writing the final chapter of my dissertation, when a pop up box appeared :“Are you sure you want to exit without saving changes”. Then the screen went blank.


My graduate school advisor asked me to grab a pair of forceps from his lab bench drawer, and when I reached in I was startled by a very large wolf spider (shown to scale) sitting directly atop the forceps. After leaping onto the bench behind his, I heard wild laughter and then I learned that my advisor had lyophilized the spider and deftly placed it in the drawer for me to discover. “Boo!” is all he said.

I was in the lab on Friday night, collecting the final cell sample in my time course experiment. I head to the lab freezer to grab a cell viability assay when I notice a puddle of water on the floor around the freezer…

Green Mold at Orange

I was working on our P2 room and opened up the bacterial culture discard container, which contained bleach to kill spent cultures, when I discovered a thick layer of mold growing on top of the liquid. I dumped in more bleach, sealed the container and autoclaved it.


When I went into the aquatics room, I realized that I had heard Professor Nemo incorrectly. He didn’t say we would be working on the squid giant axon, but rather the giant squid axon.

I was in the lab at midnight, setting up a digest and found that the last tube of restriction enzyme was gone. As I reached for the Helix card, the fire alarm went off and I had to climb down 10 floors of stairs all alone.


I was looking at my Drosophila cultures through a stereo microscope. “Phew,” I thought when I saw a mite tromp across my field of view, “glad I’m seeing that through I microscope.” It was then that I realized that the objectives were missing from the microscope.

I had placed my imaging cassette on the phosphoimager, eagerly anticipating the results of my weeks-long experiment when the scan displayed onscreen. Only background, no bands.

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Promega products are used by life scientists who are asking fundamental questions about biological processes and by scientists who are applying scientific knowledge to diagnose and treat diseases, discover new therapeutics, and use genetics and DNA testing for human identification. Originally, founded in 1978 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, Promega has branches in 16 countries and more than 50 global distributors serving 100 countries.

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