Legend of Cropsey

“Today in class we went over this thing about a guy named Cropsey. It started as a camp legend, but people have started to connect it to real happenings. It’s pretty cool. apparently it’s pretty far spread, it goes back at least to the 70’s if not further. Basically Cropsey owned a lakeside cabin that his family would live in during the summer, one day these kids left “camp scheduled activities” to go roast “marshmallows” and basically they ended up burning down Cropsey’s house consequently killing his family. Cropsey went crazy and ended up killing those kids. There are plenty of different variations out there, it’s pretty cool and far spread. What I make of this legend is that it’s slightly ridiculous, but a good way to keep campers in line.  

 “I think it’s so widespread because it is a simple story that is easy to remember, due to the lack of in depth detail. People can also connect actual killings to it, making it more believable. In fact there’s at least one movie about this myth and why it’s so wide spread, and some of the various tellings of it. It’s really cool how far spread this legend is, in fact it was used in my marketing class as a good example of a story that stuck. It is relatable, simple, and emotional.”

I agree with Elizabeth that the simplistic nature of the narrative lends itself to much interpretation and manipulation.  Used in the context of a summer camp with children, the story could be very effective in keeping young children in line.

Movie annotation: Brancaccio, B. & Zeman, J. (2009).  Cropsey (film).  Staten Island, New York City, New York, USA.