BERKELEY, Calif.—As pledging season approaches its peak, something far more sinister than binge drinking on Tuesdays is looming over the Greek Community.
“It’s the fish,” sophomore Millie Povowitz whispered to our reporter through the cracked front door of Sigma Kappa. “They’re everywhere. You can, like, feel their presence.”
This isn’t the first time reportings of ghost-fish on Piedmont have surfaced. According to Dr. Bill Renly of the Anthropology department at UC Berkeley, sightings date back to the 1930s when goldfish became readily available to the public. But rather than keeping the fish as cheap, amusing pets, fraternity brothers quickly devised a chilling new purpose for them. “They realized early on not only that goldfish are the perfect size to swallow whole—but even more importantly that when you swallow a goldfish, it swims around in your stomach for a few seconds before it dies. Armed with this knowledge, they were unstoppable,” the professor explained.
In the decades since, literally thousands of goldfish have been consumed by young men between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one on fraternity row. And those fish, as Panhellenic Council member Ashleey Willingham confirmed, are still here. “I was walking back to ADPi and all of a sudden I just felt this like, cold, slimy thing brush against my arm. And I just knew it was one of the fish. I felt like it was trying to tell me something. It was like, really scary.”
As this publication is renowned for its hard-hitting investigative journalism, The Free Peach hired a team of paranormal investigators to assess the situation. The leader of this team, Brad Silverblade, gave us his findings after spending a night camped out in front of Kappa Alpha, a notorious fish-swallowing haven. “Yeah, man. There’s, like, definitely some ghost-fish around here. I spoke to one.” Silverblade then provided our staff with a recording of this conversation, but unfortunately we were unable to make out any of the aquatic spectre’s dialogue over the sound of Silverblade’s heavy breathing. The team also took several photographs of apparent ghost-fish, which were mysteriously deleted before we were able to view them. “It must have been the fish,” Silverblade explained in an email to our editor. “They don’t want people to know they’re here.”
The president of Kappa Alpha declined to comment for this piece, but when approached for an interview he appeared sleep deprived. On edge. Haunted, even.