The Truth Is Terrifying
Realizing that the creepy urban legend of their youth has actually come true; two filmmakers delve into the mysterious disappearance of five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances.
In the middle of Staten Island, New York, lies a forest known as Greenbelt. Bordering this forest you can find a Boy Scouts camp, an old tuberculosis ward, and Willowbrook State School. After the school was closed and relocated, it’s very likely that some of the patients and orderlies returned to live in the abandoned building where they had spent many years of their lives. The presence of these mysterious people who roamed the woods might have triggered the legend of Cropsey; Staten Island’s own boogeyman.
Kids in Staten Island grew up hearing scary stories about Cropsey, an escaped mental patient who lived in the tunnels under the abandoned mental institution. According to legend, Cropsey would come out late at night and snatch children off the streets. Different neighborhoods had different versions of the same tale. Sometimes he had a hook for a hand and other times he used a bloody axe. The details didn’t matter because Cropsey was out there lurking in the shadows, waiting to grab any unprotected child. As the kids grew up, they decided that Cropsey was just another urban legend that was created by adults to scare them into behaving.
Nevertheless one summer they discovered that the urban legends were real when a little girl with Down’s syndrome mysteriously disappeared. A man called Andre Rand who had been an orderly at Willowbrook School was arrested for the kidnapping and sentenced to 25 years in prison. It was then that police started linking the cases of four other kids who had also disappeared, three of which had learning disabilities or were mentally challenged.
The realization that Staten Island wasn’t as safe a place as they had thought caused some concerned citizens to launch a search that brought up many horrific discoveries. Apparently there was a whole community living in the tunnels under Staten Island and many atrocities took place there.
Who says all urban legends are made-up?