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The website of Fauquier High School's student newspaper, the Falconer. 100% student run.

Maleficent, Still Mistress of Evil

When “Maleficent” came out in 2014, I absolutely fell in love with the film (however, I was also 11-years-old, so it’s not likely that I had a very sound judgment on what makes a good movie). So, when I walked into theaters to see the sequel of one of my childhood favorite movies, I had high expectations, and I was not disappointed.

Maleficent took number one spot on the box office charts within its first week of being released, passing even the famous “Joker,” which spent two weekends on the top after being released for three weeks. This was very surprising considering the popularity of the “Joker.” However, despite mixed reviews, Maleficent definitely deserved a moment in the spotlight.

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” picks up several years after the first movie. Aurora (Elle Fanning) reigns over the moors with Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) by her side. However, their happily-ever-after is tested when Aurora is proposed to by Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) and talks of union between the humans and the fay arise.

One of the main things that amazed me right away in this film was the amazing cinematography. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” blew the first film out of the water when it comes to graphic. Everything within the film was so incredibly detailed down to all the big and little moor creatures to Maleficent’s giant wings. Every scene was so vibrant and beautiful that the characters seemed to popped off the screen. It was mesmerizing, and I was shaking in my seat almost the whole time out of sheer amazement.

Despite negative reviews on the plotline of the film, I thought the storyline contained a perfect balance of conflict, emotion, comedy and deep messages. No screen time went to waste with this movies as each piece contributed to the film in it’s own way.

I loved Angeline Jolie as Maleficent in “Maleficent,” and I loved her even more in “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.” Her portrayal of Maleficent is one of the best I have ever seen. Every mannerism and tone of voice fit perfectly with Maleficent’s complex character. There is a particular scene where Maleficent is learning how to be polite and smile and it’s absolutely hilarious to watch. Jolie incorporated Maleficent’s comedy, sarcasm, kindness and seriousness all into this one scene which is one of the things that made it so great. This is just one of the many scenes where Jolie’s acting impressed me beyond belief, and I can’t imagine anyone better suited for the role.

Elle Fanning as Aurora adds a youthful tone to the film and provides a beautiful juxtaposition to Maleficent’s darker character. Like Jolie, Fanning’s portrayal of Aurora matches the naive, kind Aurora we all know and love in the 1959 film. However, she adds her own spark to the role that adds so much more depth to the character and changes the animated version for the better.

At this point, I have come across so many bad reviews of “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” but none of them changed my mind about the movie. I absolutely loved every aspect of the film and no one can change my mind about it. Although it had its flaws, none of them could cover up the grand magnificence this film was. If you ever get the time, I would definitely check out the movie in the theatre, it’s well worth it.

By Rachel Singleton – Editor-in-Chief

Haunted Spots

The Hauntings of the Old Jail

The “Old Jail” can be found at the entrance to Main Street. It is the longest, continuously used jail in Virginia with 150 years of history. However, with all this history comes many paranormal phenomena.

The sanitary conditions in 1808 were not very adequate. This jail was not one you wanted to end up at because of many deaths because of illnesses, fights and other conditions. These deaths result in ghost haunting the jail to this day.

These ghosts may be inmates or the jailer’s children. Several children died of scarlet fever in the jail. The former director had many instances where she heard children laughing, and when she went to see where they were, no one was there. Her hair or shirt was often tugged every once in awhile.

When director Erin Clark took over, she also heard children laughing. Another incident occurred when she brought a brass door knob and placed it on her desk. While working, she would hear a dinging noise, as if someone was flicking the knob. Eventually, the noise stopped.

Another incident occurred when a painter came into the “Old Jail” to fix up the walls. He heard what sounded like a child running down the hallway. He went to check where the noise was coming from, but the hallway was vacant, so he continued working.

That night, before he left, the painter said, “Alright Josie, I’ll see you in the morning.” The next morning, when he found a child-sized footprint imprinted on the wall. However, “it was painted over, so we do not have proof of this,” said Clark.

There are a few well-known ghosts at the “Old Jail” that are continuously communicating with staff there. Josie, one of the jailer’s three daughters who passed away, is one of them.

Another goes by Mr. McGee, a man who lived in the Delaplane area and struggled with dementia. The court records report that he thought people were trying to take his house, so he burned his house with himself inside. He survived, however, he was brought to jail for arson and suicide attempts with severe burns. Eventually, he caught pneumonia and passed away in the jail.

10 years later, a woman was arrested and placed in the same jail room. In court, the judge asked if anyone visited her during her stay. She said no, however, every night a man with a white beard would come into the cell and try to steal her blankets.

Peach Shirley was the jailer at the time. When he heard this story, his first thought was that the description fit Mr. McGee. To this day, the lights will flicker on and off. “We’ve had paranormal groups come in, and they get lots of readings,” said Clark. “In this room, when they pull out cigarettes or alcohol the meters will go crazy.”

Hauntings on the Warrenton Streets

Gustavus Richard Brown Horner was known as the best doctor in Warrenton in the late 1700s. However, in 1795, Horner would receive patients who would later never be seen again, at least not alive.

When Horner’s son mysteriously died, the height of the suspicion was enough to ensure an investigation. Many rumors and accusations were heard, but eventually, his assistant told the truth. Horner was poisoning his patients.

Unexpectedly, all the charges were dropped. Nothing became of the situation, and that was the last that was heard of Horner. But to this day, his patients have been spotted haunting the street named after him.

There is another ghost who haunts 305 Falmouth Street. Elizabeth Hutton was a spinster who died in 1991. She lived in a house that was built in 1885 by Hutton’s parents.

Towards the end of her life, she lived on the second floor while she sold the house to Warrenton residents. The owners in 1998 took a photo when they bought the home. In the background you can see an image in the mirror, thought to be Hutton.

The owners did not notice a ghost until they went to the second floor. There, many unexplained things occurred, one being a coffee cup which appeared to be thrown off the mantle when the owner went to paint. The owner then believed Hutton left, but some beleive she is still connected to the house.

Spirits of the Post Office and Bike Shop

Two spirits have been sighted in Warrenton at the post office and what is now the bike shop in Old Town.

A Civil War soldier has been spotted on many occasions and even mistaken as a reenactment actor.

The post office building was originally an army recruiting base in the 20th century. The first known sighting was in the early 2000s. An employee working a late shift in the building across the street spotted the man pacing back and forth near the steps outside the post office.

After a few minutes, the man dressed in an old-fashioned uniform ran up the stairs into the building. The employee across the street went over to check on the man. When he entered the building it was empty. He later learned that the post office had been closed for many hours by that time.

The legend states that the man continues to wait for his orders outside the recruiting office.

The Authur Jeffries, the second individual, has been sighted at what is now the bike shop on Main Street. He was a man of the community who passed away years back. His family owns a farm in the country.

One day, a lady walked passed and saw him on the stairs. She stopped to talk to the elderly man, learning his name. After this encounter, she learned Jeffries had passed away 10 weeks ago. His daughter says he’s been seen multiple times and will have conversations with people.

Compiled by Catherine Smith – Student Life Editor

This Halloween, Who Will You Offend With Your Costume?

Halloween, everyone’s favorite holiday. You dress up as your favorite characters and run around with friends, going door to door, hoping you pick the right house with the biggest candy bars.

But when does dressing up as your favorite character lead to offending other ethnic and cultural groups?
Now yes, we all know Halloween is for fun and shouldn’t be handled as it were politics, but just like in every fun activity, there’s guidelines in some shape or form.

I almost guarantee you that the night of Halloween, you won’t find anyone wearing black mask on there face, pretending that they’re an African American. But I can assure you that a common costume will be a Native American.

Now which one sounds worse to you? Obviously the black mask (or black face) sounds worse right? Funny enough, they are both just as bad.

To the average person like me I would never think of anything bad about dressing up as a Native American, but to see someone in black face would be outlandish to me. But that’s not fair, both of these costumes are doing the same thing, pretending to be of another race, they are just as bad.

This raises the question, “What if I wanted to dress up as Michel Jackson, or even Pocahontas, would that be considered morally wrong?”

Think about it, I understand that when we pick a certain person to dress up as, their ethnicity or race is the last thing we think about if at all. But you want to represent that person as you go to your parties or go around your neighborhood trick or treating.

I don’t believe it’s wrong to dress up as one of your favorite idols or even a famous celebrity. However, I do believe that it’s important to take in consideration how other people may portray the costume you are wearing.

Will they see their favorite Disney character Aladdin, or will they see you dressing up as an Arab?

By Elijah Banks – Contributor

Lack of Vaping Education Clouds the Dangers of Vapes

There’s nothing like walking into the bathroom and smelling the artificial scent of mangoes. Some may think it’s a new air freshener, but others know better. What they are actually smelling is the remains of student vaping.

Vaping is an epidemic taking over the country, especially among teenagers and young adults. As a high school student, I am surrounded by vaping every day. Students inhale e-cigarettes mindlessly, sugar-coating the dangerous reality of vaping.

Vapes are relatively new, and many believe they are harmless. Yet the National Institute of Health says e-cigarettes contain many toxic chemicals, including nickel, chromium, cadmium and carcinogens. Along with this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 805 lung injury cases and 13 deaths due to vaping as of Oct. 1. Thirteen may seem like a small number, but those were 13 beautiful lives that the world will never get back.

It’s horrifying to think that my classmates could fall to this fate. The most disturbing part is they vape without knowledge on how e-cigarettes break down their bodies. We never grew up learning the dangers of vaping as we did smoking. Schools advise students to not vape but never explain why. This results in teenagers carelessly vaping, thinking it’s safe.

Along with a lack of knowledge, one of the main reasons teens vape is for social appearance. For teens, vaping is the “next big thing.” If you do it, you’re automatically cooler, but if you don’t, you’re a boring goody-two-shoes. Once students pick up the vape, they’re hooked by the addictive nicotine and flavorings, and the cycle continues. We attempt to combat the vaping surge, but in the wrong ways. Beginning in July, Virginia raised the age for purchasing tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21. While this policy recognizes the dangers of vaping, it doesn’t help. Kids access vapes through older family members, siblings and friends and continue to vape in public and private spaces.

A better solution to stopping student vaping is to educate teenagers on the dangers of e-cigarettes, and how it’s not as cool as it seems. If students learned about the harm vaping can cause, and specifically that it can cause death, we would be a lot more hesitant to pick up a vape.

You may look at this issue and say, “This doesn’t affect me, why should I care?” However, it does affect you. You never know who will fall next — your children, your friends, your coworkers — even you. We need to take this vaping crisis seriously. We can’t keep looking at it as a passing trend, because it’s not. This is a real issue that is hurting and killing real people.

If you or a family member is currently suffering from drug addiction, visit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

By Rachel Singleton – Editor-in-Chief

The Big Question: Is Marching Band a Sport?


A sport is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as, “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against others for entertainment.” With that in mind, marching band does qualify as a sport.

Sure, we don’t necessarily make contact with other bands, but that doesn’t happen in other activities like track and swimming. We practice for two and a half hours three days a week during the school year. That’s saying nothing about the time we spend over the summer making sure all the newcomers know what they’re doing. Then there’s band camp, which takes up an entire week.

During practices, we stretch and warm up like most other sports. We take time to make sure no one pulls any muscles or experiences cramps. We also have to make sure we’re hydrated at all times, to maximize efficiency.

On top of that, everyone in the band has to be capable of carrying their instruments. That might not seem like a big deal, but keep in mind, some of the instruments, like the drums and sousaphones, weigh over 30 lbs. There’s also a proper form that has to be maintained for holding the instruments. From personal experience, I had back problems my sophomore year from holding my baritone, so injuries do happen.

We also have our own competitions that we go to, where we perform the show in front of judges and against other bands. We don’t compete directly with other bands like contact sports, because each band needs the football fields to themselves to perform their show.

During our performance, we’re rated based on our marching technique, how visually appealing the show actually is, and how well the instruments sound. After all the bands perform, all the drum majors, conductors, meet up on the field for the award ceremony. Based on how well the band performed, they get a higher score, with the highest score placing first.

Like most other sports, there is a sense of competitiveness and good morale to make sure everyone performs at the best of their abilities, and has fun while they do it. Even sitting in the stands, we still have fun. We watch other bands perform, and point out some of the songs they’re playing. Some bands play songs from movies like “Aladdin” and bands like “Maroon 5”.

The definition of a sport has certain criteria to it, and marching band meets that criteria. Therefore, it’s a sport. We physically exert ourselves, we perform competitively, and we make sure we have fun. That’s a sport, and that’s marching band.

By Harrison Savignac – Contributor


Sports are a big part of many people’s lives today. A sport is an activity involving physical and emotional skill and power. A hobby is an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.

Based on this information, the marching band is then considered a hobby. Marching band is a group of people doing coordinated movements while playing an instrument. There are many reasons why people do not consider the marching band a sport. For example, they only have a military league and no professional league that goes on to compete.

Marching band is not an activity listed in the Olympics because it is not nationally considered a sport. Would you consider cooking a sport? Cooking competitions take place and they involve physical activity but this is also not considered a sport.

Marching band is mainly used to entertain people during breaks in sports games or in parades. It is used as a technique to create an atmosphere in many settings. The marching band is not the main attraction in almost all cases in any event.

Marching band may be physical activity and need skill but based on the definition of sport this is not enough. Playing an instrument is not a sport, and carrying an instrument is not a sport. So, therefore, the marching band should not be defined as a sport.

The marching band has formations and marches that use muscle memory but not muscle. The marching band is considered. Sports are full of competition and the marching band is more of an elaborate concert.

Band does not qualify as a sport so neither does marching band. The main goal of this hobby is to play the right notes not to score a goal or earn a point. People join the marching band to meet new people, build teamwork, and play instruments.

However, this does not disregard the importance of the marching band. They are some of the loudest people at the football games, and provide something to watch and become excited about.

Marching band is an activity that has a special place in our school. This, however, does not make it a sport.

By Julian Major – Staff Reporter

Field Hockey Wraps Up Season

Varsity and Junior Varsity field hockey wrapped up the season with senior night at the falcon field on October 14. JV had an eight game winning streak with two game ties in a row. Varsity won nine games throughout the season.

Stacey Irvin who coached the JV’s last game against Liberty said, “I have loved watching the JV team improve from the first week of conditioning to the last game against Liberty.” It was a very good season for both JV and Varsity with the bonding of the team and the good memories. According to Irvin the team is like a family. “I think what was even more special was to watch how they continually lifted one another up and were proud of the success of their teammates,” Irvin said.

Varsity started the season with a four game winning streak, as the season went on they lost some games but came back and won five more. Brooke Settle, varsity team coach said, “This has been a really tough season. We lost a lot of key seniors last year, and we’ve been struggling with keeping everyone healthy.” The varsity team has had many injuries like concussions, a sprained ankle, and a fractured foot. Even with all of the absences, Settle had a positive outlook on the upcoming games for varsity and JV.

On senior night, varsity and JV played George Mason High School. Settle said, “The girls had an amazing game against Mason. You could feel the energy in the air. You could tell it was senior night and the girls really wanted it.” Before the Varsity game started the JV and Varsity teams said goodbye to the seniors who were part of the field hockey family.

By Lauren Lasher – Staff Reporter

FHS Golf In Full Swing

Did you know that Fauquier High School has a golf team? To many, this comes as a surprise. On October 7, the FHS golf team finished sixth as a team at the 4 Region C meet at the Loudoun Golf and Country Club.

The golf team did two regular season tournaments. They finished second in their first tournaments and third in their second tournament. They then competed in the District Championship and placed second, moving them on to the Regional tournament.

Senior Bryce Leazer came in fourth in the individual competition. Leazer has played golf since he was 10 years old. He believes it is the greatest game ever made.“It is challenging, both on the mind and on the body. It is like life there are ups and downs,” said Leazer.

With a roster of only eight students, they travel to Fauquier Springs to practice with their coach Bob Martin. “Unlike most sports we don’t have one team vs. another. We play where all teams in the conference compete in one event,” said Martin.

By Nayeli Arellano – News Editor