Come with me my little pretties, as we take a hike into the spooky world of camp legends of the ghostly kind!
That’s right, you thought camp was all fun and games, but perhaps you haven’t heard of the spine tingling hauntings that have plagued the place, especially, The Legend of the Skulking Shadow!
Surely friends of Camp Alleghany and campers and staff and basically all people are always spooked out by the Old Johns…for some reason. Ahem. 🙂
But I have more reason than most to actually be creeped out by them.
When I was seven I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and…I was walking there alone! Suddenly I saw a shadow that seemed to be following me. I started running and the shadow started running and no matter how fast I ran it still pursued me.
I was so scared and practically in tears. Fortunately I finally escaped — when I went into the Old Johns, it left. I was sure I was safe, that I had eluded it, though I wasn’t looking forward to that run back afterward. Still, I mustered my courage, looked left and right, and bolted back to my tent.
It wasn’t until later on — like maybe a few years later, that I realized that the ominously aggressive and hotly pursuing shadow had been none…other…than… MY OWN!
But not everything can be explained away so easily. Other things at camp have been really, truly mysterious.
There is a tale that a certain tent in Senior Camp right by the Old Johns is “haunted.” I don’t know why they say this. Legend talks of the tent flaps blowing all around when there was no wind howling through at all and no other tents had any flaps blowing!
And that’s not the only thing that went bump in the night. Read on…
The rattling hallway
Some people have also talked about seeing the ghosts of the Worthingtons (the previous family who owned camp) around the Dining Hall and Cottage early in the morning, perhaps smelling frying sausages and hot cakes and hungering for a camp breakfast.
I’m not surprised.
You see, there’s one bedroom in the Cottage that seems haunted to me personally. I stayed in there a couple nights one summer when I wasn’t working at camp but had come to visit.
All night long I thought I was hearing someone walk up and down the hall. I swore my parents had been up throughout the night, walking the hallway. But when I asked them the next morning why they had stayed up so late, and why they were pacing so much, they said no one had been up at all!
Well maybe “no body” had been up, but I think something “disembodied” was!
A few weeks later my brother Patrick stayed in that room and said when he first walked in he felt a chill and just had this “feeling” that someone else was in there. Spooky!
I refuse to stay in that room now, but others have said it’s fine. Maybe my early experience with shadows created an overactive imagination. Or maybe I just have special sensory perception…Mwahahaha!
Whatever the real story is for shadows that lurk and sounds that erupt along the banks of the Greenbrier River, here in our homes Halloween offers a chance for spooky reminiscences and lighthearted fun alike.
It’s also a great time to bring back the fun of camp with some camp-themed costumes. I recently wrote about a few camp costume ideas here, so check them out if you’re still looking for an easy-to-throw-together costume that you can make with what you’ve got on hand.
As for me, I’ll be taking my little farmer Mason to a local street that decks itself all out for Halloween, shutting off the road to traffic and creating the best place for kids to enjoy spookiness in a safe way. That is, if Hurricane Sandy doesn’t scare us all off with her winds and rain!
Either way, have a campfire in the fireplace, or light a lantern in memory of camp, and have a very Happy Halloween!
–Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls