Saturday, June 16, 2012
Ghosts from Around the Campfire
My favorite story is one a counselor told my son. I have always heard it said that a phantom monk wanders the grounds of St. Bernard's in the night. He drifts in the mist and comes with the fog. According to Gabe's camp counselor, many years ago a monk became desperate with despair. This monk hung himself in the library at St. Bernard's. The ghost of this monk still wanders the library to this day. The library is so haunted, the students once used it as a Halloween haunted house. The counselor says that when he was alone in the library, he could almost feel the monk breathing on him. It seems this monk is also the monk I had heard of before that wanders the grounds at night.
Other ghost stories flourished at the camp. One story spoke of a little girl that leaped to her death from the top of the girl's dormitory. The girl's ghost still lingers at the girl's dormitory watching the other girls as they sleep. One story my son says is complete rubbish, but it made for good campfire fun so is worth telling. This tale tells of a little boy who died in the boy's dormitory. According to the rumors of the camp, this ghost is so hostile, he contributed to the death of a camper.
My son knows that the last story is nonsense, but campfire ghost stories are the heart of any good camp and the stories that have a hint of the truth in them add a little real creepiness to the fun of the stories that were nonsense and made camp all the more fun. In the end, stories like these remind me of my favorite thing about ghost stories. They remind me of the joy of story telling and the joy of the last oral traditions and folklore. I thank all the counselors and campers that spread these stories and keep them alive in the smoke of the campfire.