Polly Pi Phi
November 21, 2016
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Most residents of Decatur know that the city is a paranormal hot spot, due largely in part to the Native American burial ground most of the buildings were constructed upon. Most people don’t know, however, that the women living in Pi Beta Phi’s chapter house experience strange occurrences on a daily basis. Pi Beta Phi’s house was built in 1912, so it is not surprising that the old house has been the site of many ghostly encounters over the years. I interviewed a few Pi Phis about their experiences, and chose my favorites. These are true accounts that have happened in the last three school years.
President Dana Caspar, member of Pi Beta Phi since 2014:
“I have experienced many things in the Pi Phi house. One fateful February evening, my roommate Kathryn Massey and I were admiring our new matching, stemless, wine glasses. Katie had just bought the glasses as a friendship present for Valentine’s Day, and we both put the glasses on our desks. I was sitting on the floor doing homework, and Katie was sitting at her desk. While we were laughing at a joke Katie made, we heard a loud clang. We turned and saw that my wine glass that was on my desk had fallen over onto its side. Katie and I watched as the glass slowly began rolling, until it fell off of the desk. It continued rolling, very slowly, towards where I was sitting on the floor. When the glass was only a few inches from my body, it suddenly shot back to an upright position and stopped moving. Katie and I were both freaked out, and whenever I think back on that moment, I get chills.”
Kathryn Massey, member of Pi Beta Phi since 2014:
“The ghost in Pi Phi—“Polly Pi Phi”—has taken a certain interest in me over the years. It started when I was a sophomore, when I spent my first night in the house. That night, I took a picture on Snapchat with my friend. The next day, I got a text from the person I sent it to asking me who was standing behind me. If you look closely at the screenshot of the picture, you can see a face above my head. Obviously, that freaked me out. But little did I know that the creepy picture was only the beginning. Almost every night, Polly will wake me up at exactly 3:04 AM. If you don’t know, 3-4 AM is known as the ‘witching hour’ where ghosts are more active. I’ve learned to disregard the nightly wake-ups as much as I can, but the experience I had this year was something I couldn’t just ignore. I was asleep in my bed the first night back at Millikin this year when I felt something heavy sitting on my legs. Then, I felt something breathing on my ear, and I could have sworn something was touching it, too. It really scared me, so I went downstairs to sleep on the futon in my room. Right when I was getting comfortable, something slammed into the wall next to me. It sounded like someone threw a textbook as hard as they could against the wall. I went to see who or what it was, but no one was awake in the house but me. I was so terrified that I drove home!”
It warrants mentioning that I could have included twenty more first-hand accounts of Polly Pi Phi encounters, but space does not allow it. Say what you will about the supernatural activity in the Pi Beta Phi chapter house, but the women living there will swear it is all true. Next time you wake up suddenly at 3 in the morning for no logical reason, remember that Polly Pi Phi likes to wake up her girls, and there’s no telling where else she can roam to.