Searching for Cropsey

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Searching for Cropsey

Postby Samuel_Scott » 10 Dec 2017 15:39

Sent via our feedback form, and thought some may be interested!

The Cropsey legend is a prolific campfire tale told in the North East region of the US. There are tons of variations to the tale, but the basic story always involves a maniac on the loose looking to do harm to campers. It is generally told as a cautionary tale to keep campers in line. Much of the time it is used to scare kids into respecting fire, since it is often told in a setting around woods, or the need for campers to stay with the group so not to get lost in the woods.

The first time I heard the tale was back in 1990 at a Boy Scout camp in NY and have been fascinated by the tale ever since. For the past few years I have been researching it hoping to find the origins of the legend. I believe that I have discovered who the name comes from and how the story was introduced into the campfire tale lexicon about a hundred years ago. It has since then spread throughout the NE of the US, mostly in New York State.

My documentary will follow my journey of discovering the man behind the legend and go into why folklore and oral tradition is so important in society. I will be interviewing scholars and anthropologists on folklore and how society changes and shapes the tales throughout time. I am very interested in how cultural changes influences the telling of tales.

The biggest hurdle I have right now in my research is collecting accounts from people who have heard the legend when they were younger. My hope is to create a database, the largest to hold accounts of one single legend, that scholars and anthropologists can use for future folklore research.

Below are links to the pages I have setup to help the project. Thank you for your time and I hope you find this endeavor as fascinating as I do.

All the Best,
Ben Schaeffer
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