It’s the sorority houses that are supposed to be haunted, not the fraternity houses. Regardless of stereotype, the Theta Chi house in Morgantown, West Virginia was haunted as shit. I found this out one when I lived a college boy’s cloudy dream that slipped into sweaty nightmare on the hot nights of my 21st summer.
May 14, 2007
I was the envy of every single one of my friends once they heard about the situation I lucked into heading into my senior year at West Virginia University. My dad’s construction company was going to be remodeling the Theta Chi fraternity house during the summer months when almost all of the school’s students fled back home for the summer and he worked into the deal that I would get to live in the house by myself while the work was being done.
I was not in the fraternity and I could tell it bothered the last of the gang of Thetas as they packed up to head back to their out-of-state suburban parents’ homes and suck at the teat of mom and dad for a few months. The last few departing frat guys would barely even make eye contact with me when I carried my shit into their main lounge and set up my bed in front of a huge window that overlooked the campus.
I could practically still hear the frat boys’ footsteps walking away from the building when I cracked my first beer on my inaugural night in the house. I pounded the first can while I stood in the setting sunlight before the expansive window in front of my bed and thought about everyone I was going to invite over for the opening night.
May 15, 2007
I woke up with a pounding bladder, stomach, and head. I looked up to see the lights of downtown Morgantown twinkling off in the distance from my window. I glanced at my phone to see it was only 4:30 AM.
My middle-of-the-night beer piss wouldn’t be as easy as it used to be. The nearest bathroom in the house was on the second floor, a good walk away from where my bed was, through the cavernous darkness of the old house. The 12 cans of Coors Light pleaded to be let out of the prison of my urethra, leaving me no choice. Naked, I took to the stairs that led up to the bathroom with the camera light on my phone combing through the black of the night.
I had barely explored the house, but the entire thing reminded me of the schools, YMCAs, and churches I spent time in throughout my life. Cold, drafty, and dusty, the entire place was linoleum-floored and perpetually hummed with the rumbling purr of heavy air conditioning.
The stinging smell of chlorine wafted at me from the bathroom. Its soft light called to me like fire to a moth and I looked longingly at the siren that was the relief of my aching bladder. I clicked the flashlight off from my phone and surfed along the slick linoleum in my socks until I reached the glittering haven of the bathroom.
There is a true freedom to standing completely naked amongst a line of eight urinals in an empty bathroom and relieving yourself. I let out an audible, throaty groan as I finished up.
At first I thought what I heard was the sound of my disgusting grunt echoing in the expansive guts of the house, but those assumptions were tossed out the window when I heard the sound relayed a second time from out in the hallway. A swift shiver trickled up my spine and rested at the back of my neck when I heard the sound maintain its volume.
Holding my junk and my phone awkwardly in my hands, I tiptoed out of the light of the bathroom and into the dark hallway. One of the last remaining frat guys had tried to explain to me how to work the lighting situation in the house, but it went over my head and I didn’t want to admit it at the time, so I was living in the dark the entire first day and night there other than for the few rooms which had automatic lighting — like the bathroom, kitchen, and dining hall.
The sound whimpered out again and I could tell it was coming from the opposite end of the hallway from where I had walked up to the floor, near the dead-end wall where a line of small dorm-style rooms flanked the hallway. I couldn’t really make out what the sound exactly was, but from my distant vantage, it sounded like a high-pitched yipping.
“Hello!” I called out, attempting at an intimidating tone.