When Monsters Are Real: CROPSEY

We like to think that ghost stories are nothing more than cautionary tales that teach children valuable survival skills without taking away their innocence.  Late at night, however, it can be hard to distinguish what is real from what is not especially when evil uses such tales for its own purposes as it does in CROPSEY.

Until the summer of 1987, Cropsey was the name given to the bogeyman who haunted Staten Island’s abandoned Willowbrook Mental Institution. Like all good monsters, he had a variety of forms from axe-wielding murderer to a modern version of Captain Hook complete with a hook for a hand. Then children began to go missing or turn up dead.  Suddenly the monster from everyone’s imagination was real.

Cropsey is real enough to inspire a documentary feature delving into the enduring mystery of five lost children and an urban legend that became a suburban nightmare. Filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio grew up on Staten Island. They know the Cropsey story as only those who lived through that terrifying time could and they deliver a chilling glimpse into a real-life thriller that still has haunting power more than 20 years later.

If you dare, you can explore this nightmare for yourself. At 9 p.m. on Friday, 13 August, 2010  CROPSEY: The Urban Legend makes its worldwide television premiere on Investigation Discovery (ID).

“As America’s leading investigation network, ID prides itself on covering real stories of mystery and intrigue through captivating storytelling of the highest quality,” said Henry Schleiff, president and general manager of Investigation Discovery.

This striking film which blends news footage with an eerie ambiance reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project has won acclaim at numerous film festivals from Chicago to Milan to Tribeca. It is currently available through several cable providers as video-on-demand.

Could this be the start of a cautionary tale for adults who think urban legends and ghost stories are never real?

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