Club Spotlight: CSA Commuter Horror Stories



Walking dead? More like commuting cadavers.


The good, the bad, the unsanitary: commuting students at Fordham Lincoln Center have seen it all. While there are some easy, even charming days during the daily commutes, other days are definitely … interesting, especially come the Halloween season. The people? Unreal. The MTA? Unreliable. The smells? Unclassifiable.  Days like these are just as bizarre and traumatizing as they sound. 

Here are a few of the many horror stories of the New York City subway, disclosed by members of the Commuting Students Association (CSA).

F Train, between Jackson Heights (Roosevelt Avenue) and Jamaica-179 Street: 

“I was on the F and there was a man who just seemed out of it but I didn’t pay him any attention. All of a sudden, from his pocket, there was a distinctive rodent noise. I ripped off my headphones, and I was so sure it was a rat. Wrong. It was a squirrel. A whole squirrel. The man was petting it and feeding it seeds from his pocket, acting like it was totally normal. I get off at the last stop, so I had to sit with the man and squirrel for another 10 stops.”

-Alleyah Ally, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’23

Q Train: 

“It was the evening of July 13, 2019. I was on the Q train going downtown to Times Square in hopes of a fun night out with my two closest friends. We were planning to eat dinner together in Hell’s Kitchen, but something got in the way of that. There I was on the Q, minding my own business and listening to music as usual. Suddenly, the train stopped between Lexington Avenue-63rd Street and 57th Street-7th Avenue. “The usual train traffic,” I thought to myself. Boy, was I wrong. Little did I know that I was underground in the midst of a blackout. I would be stuck alone in that subway car for exactly one hour. With no service on my phone, I had no ability to contact my friends or family. None of us in the subway car would know about what had happened until power was finally restored.”

-Arman Abelian, FCLC ’23

N Train, between 59th and Lexington Avenue and Queensboro Plaza: 

“Morning rush hour, so the train was crowded. However, a guy wanted space from where he was sitting. He resorted to pushing people away and yelling at a lady who sat next to him. I was standing near him, very annoyed, but had no space to move. Initially he did not say anything, but then started yelling at me and stepping on me to move. I retorted back, but managed to move away for my own comfort. When exiting, my bag accidentally brushed against him and he snapped his head and spat towards me. I’m not sure if it landed on me, but I made sure to sanitize the entire right side of my body.”

-Melissa Gao, Gabelli School of Business ’23

D train, 59th Street. Columbus Circle: 

“One morning, I was about to get off the train when a lady handed me a brochure for a church and said she wanted me to join. She got off with me and asked me where I lived, what train I took, etc. I gave her vague answers and lied about my name because I knew there was something off. Then she said to cut my hair because I’d look pretty, and offered her number to take me to a hairstylist. I refused and left because I knew she was trying to sex traffic me. It was so strange.”

-Purnota Hasan, FCLC ’23

While sharing these experiences are a lot more entertaining than living them firsthand, subway stories have and will continue to be a cultural unifier for NYC commuters. 

But if you’ve made it this far and nobody has reminded you today, wash your hands. Seriously.