The Camp Martin Johnson “Monsters”


Now, by monsters, I am not referring to the children of Camp Martin Johnson, but those things that came out of the woods or lake, or even, in one case, the Lakeview Cemetary.

I want to personally thank all the CMJ campers who sent me in stories about their favorite resident monster at their camp on Big Bass Lake. Campers and staff remember Harold the Swamp Monster, The Claw, Harry Ape, Raccoon Man, Baby Bender, and Redeye. As to the latter he was a disfigured madman whose facial features were distorted by sulfuric acid and he had just escaped from the Baldwin Mental Hospital. Others remembered someone called Stumpy. There were a lot of spooky goings on also at the Lakeview Cemetary.

And how about this Baby Bender storyline? Supposedly Irons was hit by a plague and the doctor was quick to bury anyone with symptoms. Baby Bender was placed in the coffin prematurely and when they opened the coffin for the funeral they saw scratches on the inside (the fact that a baby’s nails probably couldn’t scratch the coffin lid never seem to dawn on a group of scared 10 year olds!).

In ’72 Jimmy Gleason invented Harold the Swamp Monster, who supposedly lived in the swamp between The Attic (them Porte’s residence) and Frontier Village. We even had a Hunt for Harold, an all-camp event, where each village had to go into the swamp and find their designated Harold. it was not a well thought out event! All of the staff spent the evening tearing off leaches and there was mud throughout the dining hall. Smores were definately out of the picture that night.

Who was the supposed escapee from the Sauble Mental Hospital? It seemed there were a lot of mental hospitals in them thar woods! Again my thanks to all the people that sent me there thoughts about the monsters and ghouls around Camp Martin Johnson.

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