Friday, October 8, 2010

Order of Gimgoul Latest Elite Group To Embrace T.A.H.

Evidently…quality knows quality, so it comes as no great surprise to those of us at T.A.H. Worldwide Media that a very famous secret society at the University of North Carolina, the Order of the Gimghoul, is the newest fan of T.A.H.

Of course, since they are a “secret” society, they aren’t telling anybody. You know, ‘cause it’s “secret.”

Everybody has heard of Skull and Bones of Yale University. This elite secret society holds within its membership at least four U.S. Presidents. George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry are both members of Skull and Bones. However, names like the Order of the Bull's Blood, Mystical Seven Society, Burning Spear, Machine (as in “Welcome to the”) and The Order of Gimghoul are less familiar.

That said, at the University of Virginia the number 7 mysteriously pops up on campus buildings and other campus fixtures and checks in the amount of 1,777 or 7,777 are sent to the university. For nearly 100 years candidates picked by the most secretive society have virtually always won the University of Alabama's student government elections. A group that claims only 13 years of existence on Florida State University's 156-year-old campus somehow became the sponsor FSU Homecoming. On the campus of Baylor University, the school fountains turn pink, announcements declare Homecoming canceled, and figures are seen parading around campus adorning wigs and fake noses (and none of them is Tom Cruise a la Eyes Wide Shut).

Strange stuff, yes?

But the history of the Order of the Gimghoul is so secret they may not actually know how it all got started.

The secret society was first known as the Order of Dromgoole, named after Peter Dromgoole, a student who mysteriously disappeared from campus in 1833. Of course, since there was no such thing as CSI back in 1833 and police work was done with a magnifying glass and a penknife, all disappearances pretty much remained mysteries.

Dromgoole was know for being more interested in women and drinking than academic achievement, and, so the story goes, when he struck out with the handful of available women in Chapel Hill way back then, he took matters into his own hands (so to speak). He sent a letter home to Virginia and promptly disappeared. (We know what your thinking, had he gone to UVA, there would be lots of Dromgoole’s bandying about the Commonwealth to this day.)

So long about 1889, UNC students Robert Worth Bingham, Shepard Bryan, William W. Davies, Edward Wray Martin, and Andrew Henry Patterson formed the society.

The founders originally called themselves the Order of Dromgoole, but later changed it to the Order of Gimghoul, "in accord with midnight and graves and weirdness," according to archives (not that we’ve seen these sacred documents).

The society is open to "notable" male students (rising juniors and higher), and faculty members by invitation. Tradition has it that the order held to the "Dromgoole legend and the ideals of Arthurian knighthood and chivalry." From all accounts, the order is social in nature, and has no clandestine agenda. Membership is closed and information about the order is strictly confidential.

The society is headquartered on a 2.5 acre parcel of land that includes Hippol Castle which was built in 1924 at the cost of $50,000 – a huge sum at the time. It is located at the end of Gimghoul Road, not far from Old Chapel Hill Cemetery (cue the ghost noises) on campus near the old Carmichael Auditorium. The modern legend suggests that the ill-fated and unsatisfied Peter Dromgoole is buried somewhere on the grounds.

Executives at T.A.H. Worldwide Media expect an invitation to become ex-officio members of the secret society any day now.


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