My informant recounted this legend from his summer camp.
“A guy counselor got obsessed with a female counselor while they were setting up camp, and his name was like, Da…Davey…Davey Case or something. There were pictures of him in like old…um…books. And basically he like chased her and she was, like, terrified, and he escaped and nobody knew where he was before camp started. And camp started and everything was normal, and then, this is the part that is unconfirmed, he then came…came back to camp, found her bunk and was like, in the process of strangling her, you know, like in the middle of the night while she was on watch or something so not outside…so she’s like outside of her bunk. And then he, like, escaped again, and was caught like a day later, like, in the Adirondack woods, like, out of his mind.”
This is a legend passed between campers ages 8 to 15 at Brant Lake Camp in the Adirondacks, NY. It was the backstory for a camp monster, what my informant describes as “a rogue counselor who like stalked the camp.” My informant assures me that the first part of the story, in which one counselor became obsessed with another and then ran away, is probably true, while the second part in which he comes back to strangle her and is afterwards found in the woods, is unconfirmed andy likel not true.
My informant is a 25-year old male who attended Brant Lake Camp for 5 years between 2000 and 2004. He remembers hearing the story his first year. It was frequently told to campers by counselors in their bunks at night. Then campers would add things, and compare stories with each other. They’d also look for Davey Case’s picture in old camp photos. My informant particularly enjoys telling this story because it’s a good spooky story and he remembers the thrilling feeling of fear that it instilled in him.
I imagine this legend served to unite the campers, as they had something to communally be afraid of. Furthermore, it probably served as a warning from counselors to campers, a way of convincing them to do something or not to do something with an attack by Davey Case being the dire alternative. Lastly, I think it speaks to sexual angst experienced by boys at sleepaway camp age. They feel strong sexual urges for women beginning to develop, and this is a story of those feelings brought to a violent and horrifying extreme. It’s a way for them to discuss their feelings of sexual frustration without acting on them, or embarrassing themselves by making it too personal. Telling a legend about someone else is a safer, more distanced way to discuss personal issues you yourself might be experiencing.