Friday, October 21, 2011

Ghosts of Dromgoole's Rock (Gimghoul Castle) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina

According to popular legend in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1832 at the University of North Carolina there was a student named Peter Dromgoole.  Peter was in love with a girl named Fannie who was a fellow student at the University.  They used to take long walks and spent many hours at a popular place nearby called Piney Point where they would meet off campus.  As the story goes, the two love birds can still be seen at Piney Point more than one hundred and ten years later!

Gimghoul Castle circa 1927

Another man on campus fell for Peter Dromgoole's girl, and a rivalry ensued.  Before long, Fannie's other suitor challenged Peter to a dual even though they were out of fashion and not really a legal way to solve a dispute any more.  The two met at Piney Point, the very place where Peter and Fannie spent so many hours.  Well, it turns out that Peter was not very good at dueling and was mortally wounded.  He fell and lay draped over a large rock and bled to death on the spot.  In a panic after realizing that he just committed a murder, the man who shot him got his friends to help bury him, then moved the large rock over the freshly dug grave to hide the dirt.  All who were present made a pact to keep the secret or they all could be held responsible for allowing the duel to even take place.

Peter Dromgoole was reported missing.  A search was made for Peter, but he was never found.  After time passed and when it seemed that it was hopeless for finding Peter alive, his girlfriend Fannie, in a depressed and deprecated state, passed away grieving for her lover.  Some sixty years after the disappearance of Peter Dromgoole, one of those present at the duel confessed to what happened to Peter that day back in 1832 before passing on himself.

Gimghoul Castle on Piney Point circa 1940

Today, the rock that Peter was buried under can still be found at Piney Point.  They say that Peter Dromgoole's blood can still be seen on the rock and it has inherited the name of Dromgoole's Rock.  Many claim to have seen two shadow figures lingering around the rock.  Some believe that these are the ghosts of Peter and Fannie haunting the place where they spent so much time together and may have spent their last minutes together.

Dromgoole's Rock with Gimghoul Castle in the background

There is now a castle on the site near the rock known as Gimghoul Castle which for a time served as a fraternity house.  It is said that a secret group was formed there called the Gimghoul Society which is similar to a Skull and Bones society that many colleges and universities have on campus. It is thought to be loosely inspired by the tale of Peter Dromgoole.  Today, the Gimghoul Castle is a private residence and is not open to visitors.  There are however, trails nearby that are available for hiking and possibly getting a glimpse of the shadows of what once were Peter Dromgoole and his girl Fannie.

Gimghoul Castle today

1 comment:

  1. After spending 2 nights in the castle with a friend who was the caretaker quite a few years ago and was even gonna let me bring someone else over one afternoon to see the inside of the castle, I find it sad that the people who live there now has it closed to visitors, knowing that so many people are interested. I would at least let people,by appointment, check out this place inside and outside. After all its in Chapel Hill with the ghostly story of Peter Dromgoole and the rock. We don't have alot of ghostly stories around this area nor castles and it really would be nice for those who are truly interested to be able to visit.