The Story of Josh Friar

This story is told at a summer camp in rural Pennsylvania.

Over by the lake, there used to be a huge house. It belonged to a man named Josh Friar. Josh was a very strange man, and very reclusive. He stayed in his house all year round, only leaving once a month to do his shopping in Towanda (the local town.) The townspeople always waited expectantly for his visit every month, for although he was strange and a recluse, every month he would have a new, beautiful woman with him. Blonde women, brunette woman, tall woman, short women–all different, and all stunning. One month Josh brought a particular beauty into town. She had fiery red hair, and bright green eyes. Everyone agreed she was the most beautiful woman Josh had ever brought. 

The next month, however, Josh didn’t come to town. Nor did he the next month. On the third month that Josh did not come to town, the townspeople decided to form a party and go check on him. They hiked out to the lake in the woods, and knocked on Josh’s door. There was no answer, but the door was unlocked. The men shrugged and opened it. Immediately they were overpowered by a hideous stench. It was so vile that several of the men ran outside and vomited. Despite the smell, several men still went inside. As they entered the dark house, the smell got worse and worse. Some had to leave because they couldn’t take it. Finally, someone found a light switch. When they turned it on, one of the men screamed. Everything in the house–the carpet, the walls, the furniture, everything–was covered in human flesh. It was so awful that some of the grown men cried or ran away. The few that remained decided they had to keep looking for Josh. They saw a staircase, and started to climb. As they climb, the smell got worse and worse. One man passed out. Finally, they reached the top of the stairs, and opened the door. Inside the room, sitting on a rocking chair, was the beautiful redheaded woman. And in her lap was the head of Josh Friar.

And one some dark nights, like this one, they say that he still walks these woods–the decapitated Josh Friar, searching for his head, with nothing but a green lantern, the same green as the bright green eyes of the woman who killed him.
This was a ghost story told at my informant’s childhood summer camp every year, usually at a bonfire on the Fourth of July. The camp policies didn’t allow most traditions, such as camp songs or stories, except for this and a few more told only on this night. Only one of the oldest, most experienced campers  will be allowed to tell the story, and every year, the camper with the honor does his or her best to make it new and exciting, even though everyone knows the story already.

At the last part, a green light will start flashing from the woods behind the speaker, to the screams of campers. This is done by another senior camper, and it is considered an honor.