Although Gooseberry isn't very old, that doesn't stop students (and sometimes staff) from spreading stories about the mysterious nature of the school. Most of these legends have been circulating since Gooseberry first opened, and are passed on to each new class of freshmen. It seems like they're standing the test of time. Is it because they're true?
Gooseberry Urban Legends
Something lives in the woods. Can’t you feel it watching you? The Grotto’s a lot of fun when you’re there with a group, but if you go out there alone, you begin to sense something else is there with you. If you listen carefully, you can even hear footsteps in the underbrush creeping behind you.
Lone Wolf Island is haunted. You can sometimes hear anguished wailing coming across the water when you’re on the docks at night. Students camping overnight on the island have reported seeing a crying ghost that is either a woman in a white gown or a young child. The stories are very inconsistent.
The killer of Lake Gooseberry. Years ago, a student was pranked by bullies and stranded overnight in a boat without oars. The next morning, the boat was found empty. He was never seen again... except every Halloween, when he returns to take his revenge! Teachers and staff adamantly insist this one is not true.
The Oak’s true love promise. Write the names of yourself and someone else on a ribbon, and tie it on a branch, and your love will last for as long as the Ornery Oak does. (Or maybe only until the ribbon falls off, depending on whom you ask.) The ideal time to try this is at night, when the Oak is asleep.
The lodge’s sentient DVD player which will only play educational films and questionable movie sequels. Its sentience is in question, but the DVD collection is only educational films and bad sequels.
The secret teacher wi-fi signal. You can supposedly access it by climbing down by the docks at the base of the lodge. It's sometimes called the were-fi, because it's said to be easier to find on a full moon.
The Anonymous Writer. Once a month on the new moon, a mysterious post would appear on the journals. No one was sure where these posts come from, but every comment to the entry will be completely anonymous. All handwriting was disguised, and no names were attached. It was completely untraceable, despite extensive attempts to identify who wrote what. For unknown reasons, the anonymous posts always smelled like woodsmoke.
The new moon posts first appeared January 2012, six months after the invention of the magical journals. Mr. Calderon-Boot has made it his life's mission to put an end to this source of bullying and discord, and even more adamant about shutting down the new moon posts after what happened last year (see below).
The Forest Entities
At this point, you can assume much of this is common knowledge, passed through the Gooseberry grapevine.
The rules of magic are different in the forests surrounding Gooseberry, apparently owing to the ley-lines which cross the area.
The forest is the home of two powerful magical entities, who are siblings. They are informally known as the Anonymous Writer (the younger, who sometimes takes the form of a white moose) and Brother (the older, a black moose). Brother claims that they are guardians of the forest. They've coexisted peacefully with the school since it was founded a decade ago.
The forest entities are not ghosts, despite students often calling them that. They've demonstrated the ability to enter the lodge and cabins, to take and leave objects, to force people to lose their way in the forest, and to affect the emotions of people who come near them. They are sometimes invisible, sometimes a bull moose, and sometimes a shadowy humanoid figure with antlers sprouting from their head.
Anonymous is childlike in nature, and fixated on the students of Gooseberry. When communicating over the new moon posts, he seemed lonely and often asked for students to be his friend and "stay with [him]."
Brother is more distant, and acted aggressive any time he came in contact with one of the students. Anonymous portrayed him as controlling. Although it's true that Brother didn't much like humans, he was just trying to keep Anonymous from getting involved with the students' lives, knowing what had happened the last time his younger brother befriended children.
The escalation in Anonymous' erratic behavior coincided with the return of Karim Elmasry, Gooseberry's new Potions teacher and a Gooseberry alumnus. Mr. Elmasry is hinted to have been friends with Anonymous when he was a student. Early on, Mr. Elmasry made an attempt to return to the Grotto, but being an adult now, he was turned away.
On the night of June 24, 2014, the day before students were slated to return home for summer vacation, the Anonymous Writer stole several students out of their beds, put them in a state of magical sleep, and hid them in the forest. Brother woke up other students and entreated them to find their friends.
The "heart" of Brother had been stolen under unknown circumstances, which rendered him less powerful than Anonymous. When his heart was retrieved from the abandoned mines and returned to him, Brother took over and restored everything to normal. Brother is now in control of the forest.
A muggle mining town existed in the area about 100 years ago, and was abandoned under tragic circumstances. The ghosts of children from that mining town haunt the forest, and were only briefly spotted until the events of June 2014. The ghost children are implied to have died of exposure after either following Anonymous into the forest, or being kidnapped by him. They are now under the care of Brother.