I've got it all figured out.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ask the Magic Internet a Stupid Question No. 36

Last night I watched this documentary called Cropsey. It was about this urban legend that Staten Island camp councilors used to tell kids. They told them that there was this lunatic called Cropsey that lived in these tunnels below an abandoned insane asylum. Then the councilors would take the kids into the woods and show them the asylum and other councilors would be waiting to jump out and scare them. But as it turns out back in the 70s and 80s some Staten Island kids did go missing and they convicted a man that may have lived below the Willowbrook Mental Institution. The same place that the councilors used to take the kids!

You know your summer camp sucks when the itinerary involves a day trip here. I wonder where they took them the next day? Maybe a brisk hike to the Staten Island dump to see all of Manhattan’s garbage.

Alright kids, you can each take one piece home.

It was a pretty good documentary all in all. It was well researched and had some great archival news footage. It even had an old clip from 1972 of Geraldo Rivera exposing the appalling conditions of the Willowdale Institute. That’s right Geraldo Rivera doing actual news!
Hey ladies. Think Geraldo’s got a Coke bottle in his vault?

Anyway Cropsey is worth a watch. Here’s the trailer:

When I was a kid I went to two different summer camps; Camp Baridaka and Camp Kitchikewana. They both had legends about some killer weirdo. Baridaka had this farm house at the top of a hill where they said Old man Lowville lived. The councilors said that he killed children and that if his cows were in the field then Old Man Lowville was in and not to go near. They probably just didn’t want some dumb kid getting kicked in the head by a cow.

Robby gets kicked down by a cow - Watch more Funny Videos

One kid said that he saw Old Man Lowville and that he was blue.

Lying Dumb Kid File Photo: Old Man Lowville

Or maybe he ment this kind of blue:

That’s More Like It File Photo: Old Man Lowville

Regardless, Baradaka was just a day camp so I wasn’t that scared. We were bused in and out of there every day for a week, we only had to sleep over on the last night and the scariest thing about that was having to eat this concoction called the Baridaka Barf for dinner. Every kid was told to bring a can of something to camp with them. Soup, vegetables, beans, Beefaroni, it didn’t matter. Then they’d cook it all in one big pot and serve it to us in what was a bizarre culinary tradition that combined and laziness and cruelty.

Alright kids, you each get one hurl.

But Camp Kitchikewana was different. It was a sleep away camp on an island that was only accessible by boat.

Videoflicks had already taught me that this was not a good thing.

At Kitchikewana the counselors told us about Black Tom. Legend has it that Black Tom was this giant Indian that got into a fist fight with another man and killed him. They sent Tom to prison but he escaped. Somehow during the escape Black Tom lost one of his hands. Some of the counselors said that one of the prison guard dogs bit it off while chasing him others said it got torn off by barbed wire when he was going over the prison fence. But they all agreed that Black Tom was so evil that in place of his hand a big black claw grew out of the stump. I know it sounds like bullshit but it scared us kids. They’d take us around the camp at night and show us all these claw marks and claim they were from Black Tom. One kid was so scared that he wouldn’t leave the cabin to go the bathroom at night and he peed his bunk.

We shamed him mercilessly.

But maybe it wasn’t bullshit. Maybe there’s some truth to the Black Tom legend just like Cropsey. Now I could spend several years of my life researching and filming my own documentary but I’ve got  better things to do. So Magic Internet it is.

Question 36: Is there any truth to the camp Kitchikewana legend of Black Tom?

Magic Internet Answer: I regret to inform you Johnny that there seems to be little to no truth in your legend of black Tom. But you should not find this surprising as the idea of a man growing a claw out of a severed appendage is highly doubtful. No human has ever re-grown a severed limb and although there have been some incidents of elderly people growing horns, none have grown claws.

Maybe her body is adapting to her lack of teeth?

However, there is an old Huron legend associated with Kitchikiwana. The Indian’s say that Kitichikiwana was the name of a giant god that was bigger than the C.N. Tower.

Like Apache Chief!

Well, yes, sort of Johnny. They say he wore a headdress made of thousands of bird feathers and a robe made from 600 beaver pelts

All Apache Chief wore was a loin cloth.

And good thing it grew too cause chief’s wang probably got as big as a school bus.

Would you shut up about Apache Chief! Now the legend says that Kitchikiwanna watched over Georgian Bay but the other gods noticed that Kitchikiwanna was always angry. So they tried to appease him by finding him a wife. So they gathered all the most beautiful women of the tribes and Kitchikiwanna picked one named Wanakita. Only Wanakita did not want to be with Kitchikiwanna.

Yeah, I wonder why.

No, Johnny. It was because she was already in love with another man. A warrior from her tribe. And when Kitchikiwanna found out he was so mad that he picked up a giant handful of the earth and threw it into Georgian Bay in a fit of rage. And they say that the earth that he threw created the 30,000 Islands and that the marks of his fingers created the 5 bays; Midland, Penatang Hog Sturgeon and Matchedash. After that Kitchikiwanna lay down heartbroken and fell asleep forever and you can still see him today as Giant’s Tomb Island

So perhaps your legend of the giant Indian Black Tom has its root buried in the legend of Kitchikiwanna but mainly it was just the Kitchikiwanna camp counselors pulling your leg.

Hey, speaking of leg pulling, there was a kid in my cabin there that had a fake leg and he would take it off to go in the lake for morning dip and one day some kids stole it and put it on top of the cubby holes where he couldn’t reach. Wow, kids really are assholes, no wonder adults want to scare them all the time. Well thanks Magic Internet. That Indian story kind of sucked but at least I won’t have nightmares about Black Tom anymore. I’ll be too busy having nightmares about this.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh ! Check ya later.

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