R.I.P. Camp Windigo: Pictures & Music

In 2015, the old farmhouse and outbuildings of Camp Windigo, a once-beloved summer camp in Windsor Bush, were demolished by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. As noted in Flashbacks, Vol. 5, since last hosting campers in the mid-1980s the abandoned facility had acquired unexpected internet notoriety. Unfounded rumors of a grisly multiple murder and suicide at the camp drew ghost hunters and people who enjoy scaring themselves in the dark. (Local writer Joe Durwin has a wonderful account of the legend on his blog These Mysterious Hills.)Such a sinister online reputation would no doubt have puzzled camp founders Florence Ryder and Muriel Logan, two Smith College physical education professors who had worked to create a warm, non-competitive, co-educational natural haven in the Windsor woods back in the 1940s. But I also found more evocative representations of Windigo online, including a gallery of images by photographer Daniel O'Neill, and a recording of the song "Cottonwood" made inside the old farmhouse by the Adams band Pawn Shop Saints. Click on the video at left, have a listen, and browse some of O'Neill's photos below. Now that the buildings are gone, it is likely that the spirit of Camp Windigo can rest more peacefully.  Susan Phillips