Halloween Stories

Story 26 - The Fraternity House

My name is Daniel Jamison and I’m a junior in college.  I also belong to Delta Gamma Phi fraternity, and unlike most of my other fraternity brothers, my parents aren’t well off and don’t have a lot of money, so I had to get a part time job in order to make ends meet.  Fortunately, I was able to get a weekend job working at a fast food restaurant that was only a couple of blocks from the fraternity house, so I was able to walk to and from work. 

Usually, going to work wasn’t a big deal, except that I miss out on going to the sporting events on the weekends with the rest of the guys.  However, I usually return in time to participate in the after-game parties, as well as the parties held on various holidays, such as Labor Day, Halloween, and Presidents’ Day. 

Since Halloween falls on a Saturday, I was looking forward to getting back to the frat house after my noon to 8:00 shift ends so I’d have time to get ready for the party.  Needless to say, I was eager for that to happen, so as soon as I was able to leave I clocked out and ordered something to eat using my employee discount.  I didn’t even bother to eat it there and took it with me as I bolted out of the building. 

The walk back to the frat house was basically the same as always, except this time there were quite a few parents taking their younger children to the Halloween parade.  Most of the kids were dressed in costumes so they could participate, although there were a few that were simply going to watch the parade.  I also saw groups of older kids running around and getting into mischief, and it reminded me that it wasn’t so long ago when I was doing the same thing with my friends.  I was lost in thought when I was suddenly distracted by a weird sensation.  The hairs on my arms and on the back of my neck suddenly stood on end and I felt as if someone was watching me, or possibly even following me, as I made my way back to the frat house. 

I’m sure some of you have experienced similar uneasy feelings at one time or another, but this feeling was extremely intense.  In fact, it instantly caused me to become paranoid, so I glanced around to see if anyone was watching or following me, but I never spotted anyone doing either of those things.  It appeared that everyone else that was out and moving about was totally absorbed in his or her own life.  Even so, I still doubled my pace as I covered the short distance back to the fraternity house.  I wasn’t running or even jogging, but I was speed walking as I attempted to reach the frat house so I could shake off this feeling.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I eventually reached my destination, but before I opened the door and walked inside, I stopped and looked around one final time to see if I could locate the cause of my agitation.  Try as I might, no one appeared to be watching me and nobody was charging up behind me to cause me harm.  For this reason, I felt the source of my concern was merely an overactive imagination that was made even more sensitive due to this particular holiday. 

After I made my way inside, I thought my sense of paranoia would disappear, but instead it increased and I went on full alert.  The frat house was totally silent.  I didn’t see or hear anyone moving about as I entered, and I didn’t hear any voices talking loudly or any music playing, which was highly unusual.  Even more curious was the fact that this shouldn’t be the case, since the others should have been busily scurrying about and carrying out the last minute preparations for the party that should be starting soon.  However, there was no one in sight and the place was eerily silent. 

I couldn’t figure out what was going on, although I considered it might be possible that they’d run to the store so they could pick up some additional snacks or a few more supplies.  I wouldn’t have found it unusual if they’d gone out to purchase additional snacks for us to munch on or to buy more plastic cups for the beer.  The guys weren’t very good about keeping track of the beer cups they used and often went through several different cups each during the course of the evening.  However, doing those things shouldn’t have taken everyone to carry them out, so possibly they’ve all gone out to pick up their dates at the same time.  I hoped that is the case, but even if it is, it isn’t enough to eliminate the overwhelming sense of dread that was slowly overcoming me. 

While doing my best to ignore those nagging doubts, I headed out to the kitchen to eat the food that I’d brought back with me.  On the way there, I passed by a large plastic tub with a keg of beer sitting in it, and the tub was also filled with ice to keep the beer cold.  Obviously, someone had completed this task in preparation for the party before I arrived, so maybe they would all show up before I was done eating. 

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, so I attempted to put my suspicions aside as I went up to my room to take off my uniform and head to the bathroom so I could shower.  Maybe the others would all be back and milling about the frat house by the time I finished cleaning up and had brushed my teeth. 

The shower felt wonderful as it pulsed on my body, and the heat from the water seemed to penetrate my skin and drain the fatigue from my aching muscles.  I probably stayed under the spray for far too long, since it felt so good, but eventually I turned off the water, dried off, and headed back to my room so I could get dressed. 

As I exited the bathroom, I was dismayed to discover the frat house was still as quiet as a church during a moment of silent prayer.  I didn’t see or hear anyone moving around, so I began to grow even more concerned about where they could all be.  After thinking about it for a few minutes longer, I felt that maybe I’d get a response if I shouted out to my frat brothers, so I gave it a try. 

“Hey, where the fuck is everyone,” I screamed, and even after waiting several seconds for a reply, I received no response.  “If this is some kind of Halloween joke, it’s not funny and I suggest you end this childish prank right now.”  I added this last comment hoping to bring them to their senses, but still nothing happened and no one replied. 

With only my towel wrapped around my waist, I Immediately started going from room to room as I looked to see if anyone else was here, but every room on the second and third floors were devoid of life.  However, I noticed that in some of the rooms the costumes they were planning to wear had been laid out on their beds, so this seemed to indicate that they’d been there fairly recently. 

After checking each of the bedrooms, I returned to my room and got dressed.  When I was ready, I went downstairs and checked out each of the rooms, closets, and storage areas on that level as well, but once again without any success. 

Suddenly, an idea popped into my mind, although I wasn’t certain if I’d actually thought of it on my own or if someone or something had placed it there.  Regardless, it led me down to the basement to see if they were there, even though I couldn’t think of a reason why they might all be in the basement. 

As I walked down the stairs, I began to envision that some maniac had showed up at the house earlier with an AK47 and forced everyone down to the basement before he shot them.  I was now mentally preparing myself for what I might discover when I got there, but I found nothing out of the ordinary.  However, I still couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that someone was in the house watching me, so I began to panic.

After scrambling up the stairs to the first floor, I grabbed the phone out of my pocket and started calling everyone I could think of to see if they might know where any of the others were.  Try as I might, no one else had any ideas either.  I even went outside and walked around the property to see if I might discover something there, but everything appeared to be the same as it always was. 

‘Is it possible that they might have walked down to participate in the Halloween parade,’ I wondered, but then I quickly dismissed that idea.  ‘No, how could they participate in the parade if their costumes were still in their rooms, so maybe they just went down there to watch the kids.  No, they weren’t likely to have done that either, so where the fuck could they be?  If they had to make a run to the store, then they would have certainly had plenty of time to do that and get back here, so what the fuck is going on?’

My imagination was kicking into overdrive now, as I attempted to solve this conundrum.  There seemed to be no logical explanation for why they weren’t here, so could this possibly have something to do with the feelings I’ve been having about being watched or followed? 

Were they possibly playing a Halloween trick on me and they were the ones that I’ve felt lurching in the shadows watching me, or even discretely following behind?  They know where I work and how long I’d be there, so is this some kind of elaborate prank to freak me out in the spirit of the holiday?

No, even for them this would be going too far.  Besides, they’d rather be partying and playing beer pong or making out with their dates than giving me a nervous breakdown, so where the fuck are they?  And speaking of their dates, where are they?  Were their dates waiting to be picked up, rather than coming here on their own, and if so, were they calling or texting their boyfriends and not getting any replies?  We didn’t have a landline at the frat house, and I didn’t know how to get in touch with their dates, so I had no way of knowing if they were panicking as well.  I wish I knew some of their phone numbers so I could call them to find out. 

I considered calling the cops, but I doubted they’d be willing to help.  They’d probably assume the same as I had, that this was some sort of Halloween stunt and they wouldn’t bother wasting their time to help me out, but what else could I do?  I know my fraternity brothers are capable of acting crazy and pulling stupid stunts at times, but this was a bit much even for them. 

As seconds ticked into minutes and hours dragged on without any change in the situation, I started to totally freak out.  Was I having a waking nightmare or had I actually fallen asleep and this was a real nightmare instead?  As I glanced at my phone to see what time it was, I discovered it was nearly midnight.  Would everything change and the others suddenly reappear once October ended and we moved into November?  I just had to wait a little while longer to see if that was the case. 

It was now 12:05 and nothing had changed, so obviously this wasn’t inexplicably tied to Halloween and it wasn’t about to end now that Halloween was over.  The holiday might have played a part in what had occurred in the first place, but apparently if wasn’t linked to bringing whatever was happening to an end.  I was not only concerned, but I was also growing weary, which created a new problem for me.  I was too fucking afraid of going to sleep in the frat house, because I was concerned that whatever had happened to my fraternity brothers would also happen to me. 

My options were limited, so what was I going to do.  I didn’t have anywhere else to go, because my closest friends were also my frat brothers.  Oh, I’d made a few acquaintances in some of the classes I’d taken, but I didn’t have their cell phone numbers and had no idea in which residence halls they resided.  Even if I did have that information, how could I call them or go to their room and knock on the door at this time of night – or should I say morning? 

After mulling this problem over for quite a few minutes, I finally made a decision.  I grabbed my phone and started to punch in the number I wanted. 

“9-1-1, how may I assist you?”

“Uh, my name is Daniel Jamison and I live in the Delta Gamma Phi frat house on fraternity row, and I have a problem.”

“What is the nature of the problem that you’re referring to?”

“I worked a shift at Wendy’s from noon to 8:00 today, and when I got back to the frat house, no one else was there.”

“Possibly they all went somewhere else, such as to a party.”

“No, because we where supposed to have a party at the frat house and a bunch of the things are set up for the party, but no one else is around.  I’m the only one in this huge place and I have no idea where the others could be.”

“Have you gone through the house and looked for them?  I know that place is really huge, so they might be in another area.”

“I’ve gone through the entire house and covered every floor and checked every room, but there’s no one here except me.”

“I’m not sure what you want me to do then, because they might have just gone somewhere else.”

“No, they wouldn’t have done that when we were going to have a party here.  Can you just send an officer over so he can go through the frat house with me again.”

“But if you’ve already done that and didn’t find anyone, then what do you expect an office to do?”

“Maybe he can spot some clues or see something I missed.”

“Ok, I’ll send someone over there, so don’t hang up.  Stay on the line until the officer gets there.”

“Yeah, ok.”

A few minutes later, a squad car pulled up in front of the frat house, so I went over and opened the door as he was getting out of his vehicle.

“He’s here.”

“Stay on the line and let me speak with the officer.”


Once the officer came inside, I handed him my phone.  “The woman from 9-1-1 wants to speak with you.”

They chatted for a few seconds and then he handed the phone back to me.  I then explained the situation to him, the same way I’d told it to the 9-1-1 operator. 

“You’re the first one to call 9-1-1,” the officer told me, “but you’re not the first one to call about this frat house tonight.  When I got the radio call to come here, the desk sergeant told me he’d had several frantic calls from other people that said their boyfriend was supposed to pick them up for a party and he hadn’t showed up.  They also said they’d called and texted their boyfriends and didn’t get a reply, so they called the station to have us to check on them.  However, the desk sergeant didn’t think it was unusual for an individual to go missing for a short amount of time, but it’s totally different when a whole group goes missing at the same time.”

“Yeah, I agree, and I figured the other guys’ dates would probably be worried too, but I didn’t know how to contact any of them.” 

“Hopefully we can clear this up for all of you at the same time.  Do you want to go with me as I walk through this place?”  

“Yes, because I hate being in the house alone.”

As we went through the first floor, I pointed out to him the things that had been set up for the party – a party that never happened. 

“I see you have a keg of beer, so I hope everyone is over twenty-one,” he stated. 

“Anyone that would be drinking would be of legal age,” I confirmed.

As soon as that had been cleared up, he checked out every room on that floor and then we went up to the second and third floors next.  As I opened the doors to each room for him, I pointed out that some of my frat brothers’ Halloween costumes were still on their bed waiting to be worn.  He merely nodded, and then we checked out the other rooms.  Once we’d stopped at every room on the second and third floors, we went down to the first floor again and he asked a question. 

“How do we get to the basement?”

“That door looks the same as the closet doors and the door to the pantry, but its right over here.”

I then led him down to the basement, and after he’d explored every nook and cranny, he turned toward me and spoke. 

“I don’t know what to tell you, because it’s obvious the rest of your frat brothers aren’t here.  I haven’t noticed any signs that would indicate foul play or a crime had been committed here.  It’s as though they just disappeared.”

“Yeah, I know.  It’s as if it was done by magic or space aliens took them.”

“I don’t think I’d go that far, but maybe they’ll show up later.”

“I doubt it, because I can’t see any logical explanation for why they’re not here, or where they might have gone, or what may have happened to them.”

“Are you going to be ok staying here by yourself?”

“I really don’t want to remain here alone, but I don’t have anywhere else to go, especially at this time of the morning.”

“Could you possibly afford a motel room?”

“Yeah, I could, but I’d only be able to stay there for a few hours before I’d have to check out or pay for another day.  I can’t see spending that kind of money for such a short stay and I can’t afford to stay there for more than one day.”

“I suppose I could let you stay in a holding cell at the station until I get off duty, but you’ll probably be more comfortable staying here.”

“I doubt it, but it doesn’t seem as if I have any other options, because I don’t want to be locked up with a bunch of older men.  I’ll just stay here, but I know I won’t be able to get any sleep.  I’d be afraid the same thing would happen to me once I closed my eyes.”

“I guess I can’t blame you for that, because this has unnerved me as well.  I will, however, make certain that campus security is notified about this problem, and I suspect they’ll be here sometime tomorrow to check the situation out as well, since it involves a bunch of their students.   Maybe you can talk them into getting you set up in a dorm room for the rest of the year, especially if they can’t find a logical explanation for what happened to your fraternity brothers.”

“Thank you and I hope they can do that for me, because I’m not staying in this empty old house for the rest of the year alone.”

Even during the time the police officer was with me, I was never able to shake the feeling that I was being watched.  Now that he was gone the feeling grew more intense, so I did my best to keep from falling asleep.  However, it got to the point where I became so weary that I dozed off a couple of times, even though I was trying not to.  As soon as I woke up, I’d go looking to see if anyone else had suddenly appeared while I’d been napping, but that never happened. 

Around 11:00, I decided to shower and put on my spare uniform so I could head to Wendy’s for my next shift.  I was relieved and happy to get out of the house and be in a place where I’d be around others, although I knew I probably looked horrible when I arrived there.  Even though I’d showered and changed, I’d hardly slept, and my manager noticed my condition as soon as I walked in. 

“Daniel, are you ill?” she asked, so I told her my story and that I hadn’t been able to get much sleep the previous night. 

“If you want, I can cover your shift and you can go home,” she offered, but I told her I’d rather be there.  She merely nodded her head and let me get to work. 

Campus security called me a couple of hours later and I had to ask my manager if I could take a break so I could speak with them.  I told the officer on the phone that I was working and could either meet with them after I finished my shift or I would meet him in between classes the following day.  After thinking it over, he agreed to send someone by the frat house after my shift ended today. 

I followed the two security offers around as they walked through the frat house, the same way I’d followed the police officer previously.  Once again, they didn’t find anything amiss or any signs of the others, so they merely scratched their heads and were just as puzzled about what might have happened to my fraternity brothers as I was. 

The campus security officers also offered to call the head of campus housing for me and explain the situation to her.  I appreciated that they’d offered to do this for me, especially on a Sunday.  I was even more appreciative and surprised when they told me that she had offered to go to her office and see which residence hall had a room that I could be assigned to for the rest of the year.   

After they drove me over there so I could meet her outside of the building, one of them introduced us.  She then had me follow her to her office while she looked up the appropriate information.  After she’d assigned me to a room, she explained there would be no charge for staying there for the rest of the current academic year. 

“Thank you.  That’s very kind,” I replied. 

“I just figured that you shouldn’t be charged for something that was beyond your control, since you would have probably remained at the frat house if this hadn’t happened.”

That wasn’t the only thing that happened either.  Since none of my frat brothers showed up for any of their classes on Monday, campus security had to call each of their parents and ask if they’d heard from their sons.  Once the parents confirmed that they hadn’t, the director of campus security informed them that their sons had disappeared and there was no clue how it had happened or where they went. 

Now that this was a missing persons’ case, and possibly even a mass kidnapping, the state police took over the investigation.  The local and campus newspapers also picked up the story, and it even got some national attention.  However, the state police were unable to discover anything more than the first officer I’d spoken with or the officers from campus security, and no tips came in to the police or newspapers either.  The case still remains open and unsolved. 

                                                *   *   *   *   *  

I just got back from my five-year reunion at the college.  One of the main topics of conversation was that it had been six and a half years since that Halloween night and the disappearance of my frat brothers.  It was also discussed that no one has ever heard from any of them and no one can explain what happened.  However, many of our classmates have their own theories about what occurred, such as time warps, aliens, and even drug cartels, but none of those theories have been proven. 

I’ve never stepped foot in the frat house since then, and I was told the college kept the building closed for a couple of years while the investigation continued.  Once the state police informed the college administrators that they were unable to do any more, those in charge decided to tear down the house earlier this year for a couple of reasons.  First of all, Delta Gamma Phi was removed from the list of active fraternities on campus, and the other reason was that no other fraternity or sorority was willing to occupy that building. 

I guess we’ll never really know what happened to my fraternity brothers that night, but that’s not all.  I still can’t get over the feeling I had that night that something was watching or following me and I have no idea who or what was causing it either.  The best explanation I can give for what happened is that I had an incomprehensible premonition about what I was going to find when I reached the frat house. 

In fact, I still get that same feeling every now and then, but I’m not sure if it’s happening all over again or if it’s merely an echo from the past that I’m unable to shake.  No matter what caused it, or is still causing this feeling, it was truly the scariest and worst Halloween of my life.