A “Secret” Tour of Iroquois Springs…
This is the second in an occasional series of short blog entries looking at various places around camp that have an interesting history, or have stories behind them that are not well known, or have the ability to surprise us in different ways. We hope you enjoy the tour!
Once I met a mad girl as she came hopping through the furze
Her clothes all stuck with fluff and stuff bearded barley and bristly burrs
and I was high among the branches green and she, she hadn’t seen me there
As she went shuffling with her shadow and snatching at the air
Wild weeds, wilting were twined all in her curls
and I could tell by her mad blue eyes she was a mad girl
She was thin as any sparrow and her song it had no tune
Just scuffling through the piney glades of a summer’s afternoon….. *
Let me tell you a story. There is a cabin on Girl’s Side that is different from the others. It is next door to the dining room and, over the years, has been the topic of much conversation and speculation among the campers of Girls Side. This cabin has a storage area below the living quarters that is rumored to be the earthly hideout of a supernatural being, known as Miranda, or “The Wild Girl of the Woods”, and sometimes “Miranda the Mad Girl”.
Campers and staff who have lived in this cabin have reported mysterious events, such as stuffed animals and coins suddenly clattering about before tumbling to the ground, and mysterious sounds emanating from the storage area downstairs. One witness reported hearing a strange shuffling sound mixed with the faint pounding of a drum and the sounds of some strange stringed instrument that went on for hours. For many years, the cabin has been the home of older bunks, and the campers are always quite excited at the prospect of living in “Miranda’s Bunk” or “The Miranda Bunk”.
And what about Miranda herself? It has been said that even though Miranda does not look a day over 21, she is centuries and centuries old. She is the most amazing athlete, and can jump from the top of the highest of trees and land softly on her feet like a cat. Miranda is never without her bow and arrow and is a peerless shot. She dresses in animal skins, and her exceptionally long ginger hair is twirled around leaves and twigs and moss. It is said that Iroquois Springs is just one of her many homes, and she can travel between alternate worlds. Once in a long while, an eyewitness has claimed to see her running across girl side around dawn, to the woods beyond….
Miranda does not have much patience with people. Iroquois Springs Staff and Campers are cautioned not to disturb her if you see her. She has very long nails, and rumor has it that when she is particularly cranky she will use them. That said, in the opinion of at least one camp old timer, Miranda is actually very lonely, and in her own way, is looking for friends…
For many years, campers have been fascinated by Miranda. One bunk even used a Ouija Board to try and contact her, with surprising results! Some of those campers are staff members today!
So there you have it. Summer camps throughout the northeast share many of the same legends of beings that go bump in the night, such as “Cropsey”. Mysterious Miranda, and her lair, however, is a legend of Iroquois Springs own!
By Larry Wilensky
(Song lyrics By Robin Williamson 1978, from the song “Me and the Mad Girl”, from the album “A Glint at the Kindling”)