The Cropsey Maniac
The story of the Cropsey Maniac exemplifies a legend used at summer camp to reinforce what is expected of the group. The Cropsey legend is local to New York, and often New York City children are sent to camp during the summer as a way to experience nature away from modern city life. In a strange environment with new peers and unusual authority figures, campers may feel insecure at first. The legend of Cropsey is commonly told at camps to build solidarity in a newly formed community, i.e. summer camp, by uniting a group of individuals under common knowledge and the threat of an outsider. Legends heard at camp, during a critical time in a child’s development, are carried on with the child into adulthood and remain as a part of their perspective and understanding of life.