Connecticut October 24, 2017
The Sinister Story Behind This Popular Connecticut Park Will Give You Chills
Hubbard Park is nestled in the Hanging Hills of Connecticut. This park is home to the ever so popular Daffodil Festival, a playground, all of the ducks and geese on Mirror Lake and the notable Castle Craig. But as sweet as it sounds, there is something more sinister lurking in the background and it will give you chills.
Hubbard Park is located in Meriden and is a popular choice for outdoor recreation throughout the year.
The park is crossed by numerous trails which are open for backcountry skiing and hiking. There is also a bandstand which is the perfect backdrop for concerts and festivals. During the winter, there is a fabulous lights display around Mirror Lake. And of course there are ducks and geese that call Hubbard Park their home.
High up in the hills stands Castle Craig which was created to look like the towers along the Danube River built by Turks in the 12th century.
Castle Craig is located on East Peak of the Hanging Hills. West Peak and South Mountain are also parts of this trap rock ridge. The trap rock was formed by volcanic activity from nearly 200 million years ago. It was covered over time by sand and mud. Now erosion is beginning to reveal the trap rock that was formed so long ago.
With this view of colorful fall foliage and cars buzzing down the highway, it is hard to believe that the Hanging Hills just might be haunted.
Local legend says that there is a black dog that haunts the hills. The black dog will appear seemingly out of nowhere. It seems happy to see you, at least the first time. The dog will make no sound nor leave any footprints behind. The lore specifically states, "If a man shall meet the black dog once, it shall be for joy; and if twice, it shall be for sorrow; and the third time, he shall die."
At least six deaths have been attributed to seeing the black dog a third time.
The very first account of this spiritual activity was published in the Connecticut Quarterly in 1898. A geologist, W.H.C. Pynchon went out to do research in the Hanging Hills with his co-worker and friend, Herbert Marshall. As they worked, the pair began talking about the legend of the black dog. Marshall claimed that although he had seen the black dog twice, he did not believe the local story that went along with it. Pynchon had also encountered the dog once in the past and was a bit more wary with his opinions.
As the two geologists finished taking pictures at West Peak, they looked up and saw a black dog on the snow covered rocks.
Pynchon's rememberance of that day is chilling, "There, high on the rocks above us, stood a black dog, like the one I had seen three years before, except that he looked jet black against the snow wreath above him. As we looked he raised his head and we saw his breath rise steaming from his jaws, but no sound came through the biting air. Once, and only once, he gazed down on us with his gleaming eyes and then he bounded out of sight. I looked at Marshall. His face was white as he steadied himself against a rock, but there was not a tremor in his voice as he said:
"I did not believe it before. I believe it now; and it is the third time."
And then, even as he spoke, the fragment of rock on which he stood slipped. There was a cry, a rattle of other fragments falling – and I stood alone."
(W.H.C. Pynchon, Connecticut Quarterly, April-June, 1898)
What happens next in this tale will send chills down your spine.
Pynchon was forced to leave his friend and seek help. He finally stumbled upon a nearby house, but was so frozen from the cold that he could not assist the rescue party. Witnesses report that when Marshall was found there was a black dog standing over his lifeless body at the bottom of the cliff.
And yet there is more, Pynchon's story is not yet quite over.
After being involved in such a horrifying event, you would think that Pynchon would stay far, far away from the Hanging Hills. But several years later he returned and climbed up West Peak. Pynchon never came back down. His body was found at the base of the same cliff as his dear friend. The only question that remains is did he see the black dog for a third time before he died?
Do you believe in legends and folklore? Have you ever seen the black dog of Hanging Hills? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.