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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MUSTARD, SMEARED ON THE CHEST, THEN COVERED WITH HOT TOWELS
WILL RELIEVE THE SYMPTOMS OF A COMMON COLD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GLADSTONE ; UPPER PENINSULA

Subject headings: --

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THUMP GUARD

THE MOST FRIGHTENING SUMMER CAMP STORY I EVER HEARD WAS
10 YEARS AGO. ONCE THERE WAS A MEAN CAMP COUNSELOR NAMED
THURMAN P. GUARDIN. THEY STARTED CALLING HIM THUMP GUARD
WHEN HE TRIED TO STOMP A SQUIRREL, OUT OF MEANNESS, SO
HARD HE MISSED, JAMMING HIS KNEE, A PERMANENT INJURY
THAT CAUSED HIM TO MAKE A THUMPING NOISE WHEN HE WALKED.
KIDS USED TO SAY HE WAS TOO MEAN TO LIVE AND WASN'T FIT TO
DIE. NO ONE KNOWS WHY HE WAS A COUNSELOR OR HADN'T BEEN
FIRED. HE HATED KIDS. HE ONLY LIKED TO GIVE THEM A HARD
TIME. HE HATED ANIMALS, ESPECIALLY MICE AND DOGS. HE
COMPLAINED ALL THE TIME, ESPECIALLY ABOUT THE FOOD, BUT HE
WAS ALWAYS EATING. ONE NIGHT A FIRE BROKE OUT IN THE
CAMP COUNSELORS OFFICE, WHICH WAS RIGHT OFF THE LAKE. NO
ONE EVER FOUND OUT HOW IT GOT STARTED. A FEW KIDS WERE
HURT, BUT ALL THE COUNSELORS, EXCEPT THUMP GUARD, ESCAPED
BEFORE IT COLLAPSED AND FELL IN THE LAKE. IT WAS JUST
ONE BIG PILE OF FLAMING DEBRIS AS IT SUNK INTO THE WATER.
A YEAR LATER STORIES STARTED POURING IN ABOUT ACCIDENTS,
THEFT, ANIMAL MUTILATIONS, AND SIGHTINGS OF A MONSTER.
FOOD WAS BEING STOLEN FROM THE CAMP, BARRACKS WERE BEING
TRASHED, ANIMALS WERE BEING FOUND WITH SNAPPED NECKS,
MUTILATED, BOATS WERE BEING TIPPED OVER IN THE LAKE, AND
COUNSELORS AS WELL AS CAMPERS WERE DESCRIBING A HUGE,
UGLY, LIMPING MAN WANDERING THROUGH THE FOREST. A
YOUNG GIRL WAS SAID TO HAVE SEEN HIM FACE TO FACE AND
WAS ALMOST SCARED TO DEATH. HER FATHER AND OLDER
BROTHER SET OUT TO FIND THE THING. THE STORY GOES
THEY FOUND AND SHOT SOMETHING THAT RESEMBLED A BURNED,
MUDDY CORPSE, AND BURIED IT BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.
THEY SAID IT MUST HAVE STILL BEEN ALIVE BECAUSE AFTER
THEY BURIED IT; THEY HEARD A THUMP, THUMP, THUMP
UNDERGROUND. THEY SAID SOMETIMES IF YOU FIND THE RIGHT
SPOT IN THE ROAD AND LISTEN YOU MIGHT STILL BE ABLE TO
HEAR IT.

Submitter comment: WHEN THIS WAS TOLD TO ME IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT IT STILL
MADE RODNEY RATHER UNCOMFORTABLE TO TALK ABOUT IT. IT
WAS TOLD TO HIM WHEN HE WAS A BOY, AWAY AT SUMMER CAMP IN
UPPER-MICHIGAN, HE FORGOT EXACTLY WHERE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UPPER PENINSULA

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- B479

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