Gumbel, Andrew. “Police raid the US student society that inspired Animal House.” The Independent. 2006. April 2008
There exists a fraternity called Alpha Delta Phi and there also exists the infamous Delta house. The latter is based on Alpha Delta Phi, but the real Dartmouth frat in turn takes on its fictional traditions, pride and notoriety. However, they disguise it as “leadership, scholarship, service and philanthropy, diversity, accountability and brotherhood.” Finally the frat brothers were caught after an investigation lasting almost two years. Their pranks are angrily blamed on Animal House.
The ironic thing about Animal House is the source of Delta’s craziness. While Alpha Delta Phi’s mayhem supposedly comes from the made up Delta house, Delta house’s ideas come from Chris Miller’s (one of the writers’) college days at Dartmouth. So what exactly was Animal House’s role, other than simply putting a depiction on the big screen? Movies do give people expectations, sometimes false, or unrealistic standards. Animal House was an average college story to everyone who was already familiar with such college life. However, the film created a legend out of Delta Phi, and consequently impressions and reputations to live up to. These responsibilities already existed in the fraternity, just not publicly; these matters usually remain within the frat’s walls. The film was a catalyst, a cause, or an excuse. The only reason why it is viewed as such a problem is because Delta Phi became personally involved and invested. Films take on a new meaning when based on fact. Suddenly everything in it becomes possible. Perhaps there would have been a less extreme response if Delta Phi had not known about its relevance.