Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Georgia Sig Eps Use Real Ghosts for Haunted House

HAUNTED HISTORY: Ghost story haunts fraternity house on North Milledge
KATHLEEN DAILEY


Fraternities and sororities (Sigma Delta Tau above) are working together to create Sig Ep's annual Haunted House.
Media Credit: DANIEL SHIREY
Fraternities and sororities (Sigma Delta Tau above) are working together to create Sig Ep's annual Haunted House.
[Click to enlarge]
Halloween approaches and with it comes what is now a campus tradition: The Sig Ep Haunted House. The brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity have been hosting a haunted house for the past 11 years to raise money for their philanthropy, UGA Miracle.

"The idea of having a haunted house came about when we moved into our current house in 1998," said Davis Webb, Sig Ep's philanthropy chair. "Legend has it that the house is really haunted by the ghost of a nine-year-old girl named Tabitha."

The story goes that years ago the house was occupied by a wealthy Athens family. The father was having financial problems, and one night he came home from work in a rage of furry and drowned his daughter Tabitha in the bathtub.

"There have been stories about eerie things happening in the house," Webb said. "Doors will shut without being touched and other strange and unexplainable things have happened."

The brothers of the fraternity decided to play off the ghost story and host an annual haunted house at their residence on North Milledge Avenue, where the event was held until 2006.

"Since people live in the house, the haunted house caused a strain on [the brothers who live there] and the house itself," Webb said. "The haunted house was creepier when it took place at the house, but we decided to move it to Legion Field to make it easier on the residents."

This year the haunted house will take place in a tent on Legion Field with rooms decorated and run by the Panhellenic sororities on campus.

"We have great involvement from the sororities," Webb said.

As part of a competition, they decorate banners to hang on their houses the week before the event, and visitors to the haunted house vote on their favorite room. The winning sorority receives $500 toward the charity of their choice.

This year, sorority sisters have gone all-out creating themes for their room to spook and scare visitors. Chi Omega has chosen to recreate the circumstances of Tabitha's death.

"We will have girls acting out the legend," said Lindsay Haack, a Chi Omega sister from Carrollton. "It is going to be really creepy."

Delta Delta Delta has chosen to make their room a swamp theme.

"We will have girls dressed up in camouflage suits and acting like scary swamp people," said sophomore Emily Pepin.

Sigma Kappa has created a "Massacre at the Carnival" theme.

"We took a poll and realized that a lot of girls in the sorority were scared of clowns," Ally Kemmerly, a sports medicine major from Dunwoody, said. "So we decided to make our room filled with creepy clowns. There will be a lot of awesome, gross fake blood."

Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity have high hopes for this year.

"Last year over 1,200 students came to the haunted house," Webb said. "This year we hope to raise $10,000 between tickets and shirt sales so we can give a large sum of money to UGA Miracle."