Fans of the macabre know that there are many creepy urban legends in New York. After all, we’re the home of Sleepy Hollow and the headless horseman! One particularly spooky Empire State tale that has haunted children for generations is that of Cropsey. Stories ran rampant about this Staten Island maniac that dragged children back to his abandoned hospital lair. But did you know that there was actually some element of truth to the stories of Cropsey? A real life child murderer did exist in the area, and he wasn’t just an imaginary fantasy featured in several horror films.
Legends of Cropsey first popped up in the 1970s. It was rumored that he was an escaped patient from a mental asylum in Staten Island who roamed neighborhoods hunting for children to abduct and kill. The stories were whispered by children over campfires and were not particularly noteworthy. There are urban legends everywhere, and many places have supposed boogeymen who abduct children in the night.
But in the 1980s, the story of Cropsey took a terrifying turn when children and young adults actually began disappearing around Staten Island. The culprit was discovered to be an employee at the Willowbrook State School, an institution for children with developmental disabilities. Andre Rand, a janitor at the school, was homeless and living in a homemade tent on the grounds of the institution… read more >