Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The History and Beginnings

Gimghoul castle, which was originally known as Hippol castle, was built in 1924 and took about $50,000 and 4-6 years to build. The appearance of the castle came about through the contruction of 1,300 tons of rough stone that French artisans supposedly cut to build it. The 2.15 acre land is owned by the Order of the Gimghoul, a non-profit organization of men. Rumor has it that the secret society was founded in 1889 and has numerous notable UNC alumni as its members. Today, one must be a noted junior, senior, or faculty male to qualify as a potential member, although it is not open to just anyone. Members are chosen and subsequently invited to be inducted. There are not very many records or traces about the group, which renders it somewhat of a mystery. There are a few legends and stories about the castle, making it an extremely popular topic of conversation. More to come on legends in another group member's post.
–Mehrin Islam

The Legends of Gimghoul Castle

There are three different stories to the legend of Gimghoul Castle. One is that Peter Dromgoole was a UNC student in 1831 from a wealthy Virginia family. Peter met a girl named Miss Fanny at UNC and fell madly in love with her. They met regularly for dates at a place called Piney Prospect on campus. However, another student was also in love with Miss Fanny and grew extremely jealous of Peter and Miss Fanny. Out of rage, he challenged Peter to a duel. The duel was at Piney Prospect and Peter was killed in the duel. The other side panicked and dug a shallow grave and put Peter in it with a rock on top of him to cover him up. In the process, the rock was stained red with Peter’s blood and is supposedly still stained to this day. After this incident, Miss Fanny began to wonder where Peter had disappeared to. All she learned was that he left campus possibly to join the army. Miss Fanny was heartbroken and still returned to Piney Prospect to wait on her lover. She cried everyday on the rock that Peter was buried under. After some time, she became sick and died heartbroken. People say that Peter and Miss Fanny’s ghosts still visit Piney Prospect to this day. -Kamal Patel & Natalie Jones

The 3 Legends:

Legend 1: Peter Dromgoole was in love with a girl known as Miss Fanny.
Another man was also in love with her and challenged Peter to a duel at the Castle.
Peter was shot and killed and his blood still stains the rock he was killed on.
The men at the duel left Peter there and used the rock to cover his body so no one could find him.

Legend 2: Fanny did not know that Peter had been killed in a duel so every night she walked around the castle and prayed for his safe return. She ended up dying of sorrow and loneliness.

Legend 3: Fanny heard of the duel as it was happening and arrived at the scene in her night gown just as Peter fell to the ground. He died in her arms staining her night gown and the rock for all time.

"Gimghoul Castle." Web. 24 Oct. 2010.

"The Legend of Gimghoul." Ibiblio. Web. 24 Oct. 2010.

Decoding the Legends

The legends of Gimghoul Castle are all stories, or perhaps myths trying to explain the creation and formation of Gimghoul and its Order. As legends go, they describes an intriguing event that captivates people and makes the Order seem even more elusive and mysterious to the outsiders that wish to understand it. As a member of the Order, the truth behind it may be revealed but as a average student, faculty, or community member looking at Gimghoul Castle, the truth about the legends remains unknown and the mystifying stories propose a thrilling and exciting explanation to the Castle’s formation.

The legends create a certain feeling of sacredness around the castle and a mystery that few will ever understand. Since the land around the castle is claimed to be the murder site of Peter Dromgoole, even though no one knows exactly where the murder took place on the land, it is a religious and sacred place for people trying to solve his death and honor his memory. It is certainly a place of touristic curiosity as the legends have been published in many magazine articles, newspapers, websites, and novels over time. It is also a place of mystery because of the varying legends, of which no one knows which is the real truth or if any of them are actually the truth. The legends do not state the exact location of the duel or who the other duelist is, which creates more secrets within the Order and Gimghoul’s formation. - Natalie Jones

The Order of Doomgal

The Order of Doomgal was founded in 1889 when a group of UNC students decided that they wanted to create a society based on chivalry and Arthurian principals. After hearing a lecture on the disappearance of Peter Dromgoole, Edward Martin, William Davie, Shepard Bryan, Andrew Patterson, and Robert Bingham (the founders of the Order) decided to make Doomgal the society’s namesake. The Order of Doomgal eventually became the Order of the Gimghoul. The Order is only open by invitation to upperclassmen, male students, and some faculty members. It is an unsaid requirement that these students come from wealthy families and are involved in prestigious Greek fraternities on campus. What was once a society based on chivalry and brotherhood, has become a mostly social Order that reunites in secrecy at Gimghoul Castle.
-Tyler Hood

Decoding the Order

It is evident that the purpose of the Order, which functions as an elitist secret society, has changed over time. It was initially established based on the ideas of chivalry, which is formally defined as courteous behavior, especially towards women. It is possible that this affluent group of gentlemen founded the Order with many intentions, one of which was to polish their manners and actions toward women. However, men treat women very differently now than they did 100 years ago. Today’s society tolerates casual relationships between men and women, and in many cases, it is the women doing the work to charm the men, as opposed to men charming women. Society’s social constructs even allow men to take advantage of women, in seemingly harmless ways, such as using degrading terms such as “bitch,” and in more serious ways, such as rape and forced prostitution.

Today, instead of a society based on the foundations of chivalry, the Order has more of a social
function for members. Exclusive events, such as cocktail parties, are open only to members and serve as gross manifestations of their egos. Although membership seems a bit pretentious from an outside perspective, it also serves as symbol of power and popularity in the campus community. Membership, as a whole, is a secret. It is unknown who is currently is a part of this exclusive and elite society, and records of membership are not revealed until 50 years after a member's initiation. It could be boy who is currently sitting next to you. It could be your physics lab partner. It could be your best friend. This element of mystery adds ambiguity that reinforces the power that the members hold over the rest of the community. -Kaelyn Malkoski

Construction of Gimghoul Castle

The castle was built to house social events for the Order of Doomgal/Gimghoul. The architecture is very distinct; it isn’t common to the area, and the foreign and exotic aura surrounding the menacing structure separates the society and adds to its mystery. The Gimghoul Castle was built on the site of Peter Dromgoole’s legendary duel, and his remains (according to the legend) are somewhere in the surrounding woods. The rock on which he died is also located on the property. Although the Castle is now only used for social events, it remains a symbol of remembrance of the story that led to the creation of the Order and Peter Dromgoole's short-lived life. -Stella Stromeier

Signs of Globalization

Signs of globalization since the history and construction are visible through the castle and its architecture and the idea of chivalry. Castle architechture is usually made for protection, safety, and secrecy; in this case, the castle was made for secrecy, as a private dwelling place for the secret society. It includes a few upgrades from typical medieval castles, such as plumbing, interior design, and flat screen televisions, etc. Chivalry, originating in Europe, is the medieval ideal of honor and courting. The order was originally created to bring together a group of established and honorable men to practice chivalry. However, chivalry today, if it even still exists, is drastically different from the medieval ages. In the past, chivalry was characterized by knighthood, nobility and the act of honoring the lady, whereas today, it refers to men's courteous behavior toward women. Today, the order attempts to create nobility where it is lacking. An example of modernization and society's influence is the fact that the order upgraded from the lodge to the castle, showing a need for status and a declaration of their power and elusiveness. -Mehrin Islam