The legends say that up on the mountain, deep in the woods, there is an abandoned camp for what used to be a circus troop that frequented the area. The camp was abandoned when the entire troop was murdered. The official story is that, about 100 years ago, the troop was mualed by a tiger who’s cage was left unlocked, but if you ask the locals, there is a different story. The local story says that the tiger wasn’t responsable for the deaths of that troop. They say that one of the members of the circus went crazy and brutally murdered the whole troop; so brutally in fact that the tiger was blamed based on how disfigured the corpses were. The story changed a lot over the years. They blamed the ring master saying he was angry after a horrible proformance, the acrobat saying he had recently lost a child, even the bearded lady but nobody had a reason for that one. All common circus sights. Well the camp is real, all the locals even know where it is, and the deaths reallly happened, but the next part of the legend is obviously fake…right?
The second part of the legend states that, if you go up to the camp, first you’ll see the picture of the 3 people claimed to have committed these atrocities, which isn’t surprising because it was their camp. Next, you’ll see old, blown out light bulbs appear in the creek behind the camp. Then you’ll find the paper article from the day the bodies were found, blaming the tiger. Finally, you’ll see the real culprit in the shadows of the camp. Naturally you’ll try to run, but the moment you look away from the shadowy figure it will be in front of you, blocking your means of escape. You’ll try to scream but, before the air can escape your lungs, you’ll already be dead. This is what the locals believed explained the disappearence of about 15 people over the past century. Of those 15 people no body was found.
Me and four of my friends were very skeptical of this legend. We were so skeptical that we decided to check out the camp over the summer. We all piled in one car in late June and went up to the camp for the night. When we got there we scoured the camp for a bit and found the whole place had strings of lightbulbs hanging over everything, we figure that’s where the lightbulb part of the legend came from. Then we found a framed picture in the cabin. In the picture you could see a ringmaster with 2 other people. One was obviously the acrobat because he was doing a handstand in a leotard and the other must’ve been the bearded lady (although it just looked like a lady holding a fan in front of her face). So another part of the legend was figured out. Then the next part, the lightbulbs appearing in the water. We all stood by the river that ran behind the camp to see if any would just pop up. After about five minutes of nothing we gave up on that. We figured the rest of the legend was fake. We weren’t expected back until the next day (some didn’t expect us back at all) so we all split up to scope out the areas around the camp. I decided to follow the river to see if there was a place to go swimming. After about fifteen minutes of walking I found an area of the river that had opened up into a pond of sorts where the river fed it and there were high banks all around it. I walked up the bank and found out that if you were out walking a trail you wouldn’t be able to see the pond. It would just look like a hill. I went back to the camp to tell everyone about the pond.
Two of them decided to come with me to cool off in the water for a bit but the other two said they were going to gather some wood for a fire tonight. The three of us went to the pond and were swimming for about an hour. Then, one of the lightbulbs seemed to float down the river from camp. It looked the same as the ones from camp but this one had a lot of rust on it. We blew it off saying that one of the other two decided to throw it in the water. After about another fifteen or so minutes lightbulbs were just kinda showing up. They weren’t following any currents but there must’ve been twenty or so bulbs in the pond. We decided it was time to head back. We were in a slight hurry to get out so we got out on the other bank of the river. We figured we’d cross when we got to the camp. On our way back we found a news paper laying on the bank. I picked it up and read the headline (Circus Troop Mauled By Tiger). We were starting to get a little jumpy at that point and we were still about a ten minute walk from the camp so we picked up the pace a little bit, until I saw a sillouette in the woods, then we started to move quite a bit faster. But we made it back to the camp safely and told the other two about what happend. They offered decent theories for what happened. The light bulbs have probably fallen to the bottom of the pond and when we were all swimming around we disturbed the mud and some of them floated to the top again. As for the paper, it was obviously left there when someone came up here to check the place out. The sillouette? Being paranoid can play tricks on your mind and I probably just saw some branches or a bush. With all our minds at ease we lit the fire and started to gather more wood to last through the night.
As we were sitting down around the fire we hear a vehicle pull up just outside camp. A slightly large man came into the camp. We were still a little on edge and asked the man to leave and come back another time. He insisted that all he wanted was to look around the camp a little to see what the legend was all about. He told us how he was from out of town and heard this crazy legend when he asked about good camping spots in the area. So we showed him around showing him the lights and the paper I had found earlier. We explained the legend in greater detail and answered his questions. Lastly we showed him the picture from inside the cabin. He looked at the photo for a solid six minutes before asking who the legend says the killer is now. Last we heard it was the ringmaster. Everyone thinks he went crazy after a bad proformance. The man laughed. “So they gave that old geezer all the credit for my work? Hell I’m not even in this picture.” We all froze. “But the legend took place over eighty years ago, you look like you’re only in your thirties.” I said. “Oh I am, or was anyway. I just couldn’t leave after killing all of them. So instead of dying I just decided to stick around. But you’ve come onto MY land. This camp is my home.” We were all visibly shaking. He told us not to run but one of my friends ran anyway. We turned to see where he was running but he was already gone. Not too far away to see, but just gone. We couldn’t hear footsteps or the screaming that would accompany the terror we all felt. We turned back to the man. He just grinned. “Where is he?” I asked, voice trembling. “Gone”, is the only response I got. After that all he did was laugh. So we knew we couldn’t run. Me and the remaining three shared a look, steeled ourselves, and charged right at him, never letting him leave our sight. We tackled and pinned him to the ground. I told him to bring our friend back. “I can’t bring him back. He’s gone.” He stopped and stared at us shortly then started to laugh even more maniacally than before. In a fit of rage and fear I swung at him and were I should’ve connected, I missed. He was no longer in our grasp. We heard his laugh from behind us. We all turned around and he said to us, “Two of you are going to leave to tell this story.” As soon as he finished that sentence I looked at my friends and only three of us were there. “If you don’t spread the story, I’ll be forgotten. And if I’m forgotten then nobody will come to visit me anymore.” Just two of us left. I’d survived. “If you don’t spread this story then I will find you and there will be no survivors from this camping trip.” And with that he was gone. Me and my last remaining friend ran to the car and sped back to the town.
The police swept the area around the camp and couldn’t find anyone and only one set of tire tracks. None of the police believed our statement, but with no bodies and no evidence of foul play we were let go. The police think we got away with three murders, but everyone in town believed what we said. My friend refused to tell anyone except the police about what happened and ended up hanging himself because he couldn’t deal with the loss of our friends, or that was the official story anyway. Now I write this to warn people to stay away from that camp. I won’t even say where it is because I know people think this is just a story or silly town legend. But, from one skeptic to another, remember that legends have to come from somewhere, hold some truth. And sometimes the legends are completely true.