Folklore/ Text: Hatchet Annie and the Banana Man
KM: “Basically, the banana man is a person dressed in a yellow rain suit. He was known for sneaking around below the intermediate girl’s shower house (bathroom cabin). He would grab their feet and toes through the gaps in the floorboards and occasionally stab their feet. Allegedly he was an old counselor who was fired for sneaking around and stalking girls, so he would break into camp during rainstorms with his yellow rain jacket and stick his fingers through the floorboards of bathrooms to scare them. Hatchet Annie was an old camper who had gone for many years, but was bullied by her fellow campers. Eventually, she stopped returning to camp, but grew up and returned to camp with an ax to kill the campers. She needed a place to hide the bodies, so she would tie rocks to the bodies of the victims, and she would throw them into a swampy marsh by the old shed that she had taken over as her base of operations. Forevermore, this swamp would be known as Lake Anne.”
Explanation/ Context: Despite being scary stories to tell around a campfire at night, they also serve as a way to ensure that campers are behaving. Because of Hatchet Annie and the Banana Man, campers are less likely to be misbehaving out in the woods late at night or act recklessly during storms. Likewise, it would keep campers away from Lake Anne, where younger kids may be likely to drown. If they think there are bodies at the end of the swamp, they won’t swim in it! These scary stories employ immense fear for the young campers especially… because they don’t know better than to understand they are fictional. They are examples of camp lore that have been passed along to generations, including my mother and my sibling. I certainly remember being freaked out by the prospect of stumbling upon Hatchet Annie in the woods, or seeing the Banana Man peak up at me from beneath the floorboards of a cabin. And it was always fun to speculate about whether one of these monsters were spotted around the camp property, too.