Senior Assassin Survival Guide

All about the popular game and tradition for PFHS seniors.

If you’ve been on Instagram lately, you’ve likely seen the “pf23seniorassassin” account. It boasts over three hundred followers and is frequently posting about the competition’s eliminations.

Senior Assassin has been around for more than a few years now. “It’s been a thing for a while,” said senior Homira Koraganie. “The first time I heard about it was with my brother, who was in the class of 2017. It wasn’t on the big scale it is now, they were just doing it with water balloons.”

The rules are simple: as stated on Instagram account, you pay a $5 entry fee to create a team of two. When the competition starts, you’re assigned a target team to assassinate using water guns. Floaties can be worn for protection, and the kill only counts if there’s proof. You can’t eliminate your targets on school grounds, in a place of worship, in a moving vehicle, or when clocked in at work. Anything else is fair game. 

“I knew about it from last year, I followed the Instagram account and followed whoever got out,” said senior Emma Meehan. “When it actually did start [this year], I was like, ‘It’s real, it’s happening.’”

Different players developed different strategies as the game started. In the first round, Koraganie was tasked with eliminating senior Christina Mai. “I tried to sit outside of her house, but it was really hard because it’s like a fortress. I just tried to check Snap Maps and get her when she was coming home or leaving.”
That endeavor would prove unsuccessful for Koraganie and her teammate Hayda Isterbadi, who were eliminated in the first round after getting no kills. 

“The first week, what we did was like, ‘we’re going to get our targets out early on, and then we’ll hide from people for the rest of the week,’” said Meehan. “That worked for the first week. We got our target, then I wore my floatie every time I went out, and on purge day I did literally not leave my house.” Every round, there’s a ‘purge day’ in which players are not allowed to wear their floaties. “It was scary because you have nothing to protect yourself.”

Supplies are also an important expenditure. Target, Walmart, and Five Below all sell water guns and floaties. Both Koraganie and Meehan got multiple weapons, including one to keep in their cars. Meehan’s advice? Invest in a good water gun. “I mainly used the one in my car, and it leaked everywhere.”

Senior Assassin is a fun activity for those who participate or keep up with the scores, but when it comes down to it, it’s also a game of betrayal. Friends are pitted against each other, and keeping your target secret is important when it comes to surviving.

“We had two of our closest friends, Maya [Kassir] and Ani [Dykes],” Meehan said about herself and her teammate, senior Molly Dehaven. “When it came out, we were like, ‘We can’t tell them that we have them because we’re going to betray their trust.’ So we convinced them we didn’t have them. Molly went into Ani’s house, and hung out with her for five minutes, and then she whipped out a gun and shot her. It was the biggest betrayal of the century.”

Another example of betrayal was seen in Meehan’s own elimination, an extensive story that involves a late night on purge day and the wrong address of her own target, senior Owais Khawaja. She reached out to his friend, senior John Altankhuyag, for help, who eventually figured out that she was at the wrong place.

“I drive to the right house, and I park a mile down the street so he doesn’t see my car, and then I’m running in the pitch black down the street. I finally get to his house and I crouch behind his car, and then my assassins pop up from the other side and shoot me. I was like, ‘You gotta be kidding me right now, this is not real.’ The person who I thought was going to help me told my assassins. He was a double agent.”

The class of 2023’s game is wrapping up, with less than ten teams left. When a winner is determined, it’ll be posted on the Instagram account. 

The tradition will most likely be continued next year with the class of 2024. For rising seniors who are serious about the game, it’s a good time to look at this year’s failures and successes – it’s never too early to think of strategies. 

“My advice is to trust no one,” said Meehan. “[Even] people who are your friends. Don’t tell people who your targets are, it just gets out so quick. Keep it on lock.”

Koraganie had similar guidance. “Try to hold your cover of who you have for as long as you can, that will help. Betray people. And trust no one.”