Ghost Story #2: Cropsey

Name: SR

Place/Location: New York, Upstate- took place at camp

Age: 8/9 years old, 19 years old now

Language: English

Occupation: Student

The story told: New York Ghost story

So, when I was 8 we had a campfire for my age group at the sleep away camp I went to and one of the girls was going to tell scary stories. This girl decided she was going to tell the story of “Cropsey”. Um, and everyone knew the story or had heard something about it but I did not know it yet. It is famous in New York state and people thought it was extra scary because it was so close to home. So, the story of Cropsey has a bunch of different versions but this is the one I was told. Um, on a highway in upstate New York there was a man driving alone. Something hit the man’s car, some being or dear, jumped in front of his car and he ended up in a car wreck because of that unknown object or person. And he ended up being severely disfigured in the car wreck and nobody ended up coming to help him because his car was the only car on the road in a rural area. So, he dragged himself out of the car and into the woods to try and like I guess heal and instead he kind of just didn’t die but remained severely disfigured. He then ventured amongst the woods and remained severely hurt living amongst the creates of the woods, and ended looking like somewhat of a “demon”. And he would just wander around the woods and then “THIS PART IS TRUE.” Small rural towns in upstate New York, started to notice that children were disappearing into the woods. The children would either be found dead or if they were found alive, they said they were lured into the woods by a man named Cropsey. And the children that were found dead or the children that would come back would be disfigured in some type of way. A lot of the children, to begin with, were born with some sort/type of disability. Throughout time it has become an urban legend or myth that in a lot of disappearing children’s cases, the name Cropsey continues to be used or brought up. The state isn’t sure if there ever was a man named Cropsey or if over time there has been different serial killers or criminals/murders that hide or play into this legend and story. I think that I would imagine that he looked or acted like some sort of zombie. Do you know the horror movie, Mama? Okay, I don’t know, I think it just plays into some sort of a witch like or zombie figure that should have died, but didn’t but is kind of dead roaming around in the woods. I do not know how he went from a regular man in a car wreck to desiring flesh or children so something had to happen. I think this is a ghost story but I would use the word zombie to try and describe him. I feel like um it’s like the way I heard it was around the campfire telling ghost stories and it qualifies and feels like “being undead is being a ghost” and he definitely qualifies as undead. I believe that there have been disappearances attributed to someone named Cropsey but I don’t believe necessarily the whole bit of the man becoming Cropsey. I don’t believe in ghosts like in the way that um, like I don’t know if you can really see them but I feel like like I want to believe in ghosts because that’s a way I think you can be in contact with the dead. Like when you hear those crazy stories about when someone they love passed away and you hear something or see something that reminds you of them, they will hear a song or randomly find a photo of that person where it shouldn’t be and they would like to think that the person who died, their ghost or spirit planted it there for them. I believe in that. If there are scary ghosts though I would hope they stay the hell away from me. I feel like in my life I have traveled to places like Anne Frank’s house, slave cabins, native American burial grounds and I feel like you can just feel a certain weight in the air because of what happened there and how many people died there. The death and what happened there is very tangible. I did not tell this story in a very scary way because I struggled to remember it, but when I was just told this it was told in a very creepy way. I was out in the woods at camp and the situation made it so crazy for me at the moment, I am a baby when it comes to stuff like that.


I think this story was super cool because I had never heard of a state ghost story before that so many people know about that has been around for ages. I asked my friend if she had a ghost story that she knows or something that impacted her life and she told me this one. After listening to this story and how she phrased all of it, I felt as though I could be put in her 8-year old selfs shoes and be super scared at camp hearing this around the fire. I think it was interesting that she said this was a ghost story yet continued to tell me that he wasn’t a ghost, but she thinks he was some sort of zombie or demon-like creature that roamed around. The reason why it was a ghost story to her was the setting. The setting was around the campfire at night, passing around flashlights in the woods while being scared to death by the information said.  I would have been so scared if I heard this story while I was at camp, surrounded by the woods in the dark of night because of how the story dealt with missing children being taken into the woods never to be found again. She told me this in a very calm fashion, but then was reminiscing on the way it was told to her, she told me it was said in a very creepy/eery tone furthering the scary undertone. SR said she believes in ghosts but does not think you can see them, she believes in a sort of essence or energy presented by those who have died. When she said she went to places where mass murder or death has occurred, she felt as though she could feel like cool or dark energy and heaviness of the space throughout her body. SR said she does not want to believe in the bad types of ghosts but thinks that if they are real she does not want them anywhere close to her, which was very funny. The car crash, the disheveled figure and the missing kids all combined into this scary story that is now told from generation to generation. Do I think this is a ghost story? I am not sure, but it is up to interpretation.