With a history dating back to 1633, it’s no surprise there are more than a few haunted places in Connecticut. Some feature the spirits of early settlers. Other haunted spots play home to the eternal unrest of Revolutionary War soldiers. Some ghosts rumored to haunt Connecticut spots lived as recently as the 20th Century.
1. Dudleytown: Enter at your own risk.
In the mid-18th Century, settlers arrived near what's now Cornwall. The town thrived...until it didn't. Slowly, the population left or died off. By the early 20th Century, no one lived there anymore.
The town's buildings were swallowed up by the forest, leaving a few crumbling foundations and empty cellars behind. Rumors of a curse spread. The story is that anyone who tries to live in Dudleytown meets an untimely end.
Is it true? It's better not to risk finding this one out for yourself. Even if you manage to escape Dudleytown's notoriously bad luck, you might get into trouble with the law enforcement patrolling the area. The town's remains are private property.
2. What's creepy about a century-old lighthouse off the coast of New London?
Ledge Light, perched just off the coast of New London, is the rumored home of a ghost of an early keeper named Ernie. Until the light was automated in 1987, Coast Guard crews reported eerie goings-on, like doors opening on their own and the unexplained removal of sheets from beds.
Just before the automated light system went in, a Coast Guard crew member wrote "Rock of slow torture. Ernie's domain. Hell on earth – may New London Ledge’s light shine on forever because I’m through. I will watch it from afar while drinking a brew."
3. A copper mine-turned-prison sits empty...or does it?
In the 1770s, the local government approached a tavern keeper about turning the copper mine he owned into a prison and he readily agreed. Thus, Old Newgate Prison was born. The first convict, a burglar, was locked up in 1773. He escaped 18 days later.
This inauspicious start set the tone for the prison's future, which consisted of enough bloody riots that it eventually earned the nickname "hell."
Some of the prisoners who escaped over the years might not have gotten very far. Allegedly, spirits of former prisoners still wander the grounds and ethereal voices can be heard in the mine tunnels.
4. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but sticks and stones thrown by a ghost scare me!
The once-elegant Hearthstone Castle sits abandoned in Danbury's Tarrywile Park. There have been reports of shadowy figures and glowing orbs in the windows, because what would an abandoned castle be without a few lingering spirits? The spirits who haunt this particular castle are said to throw sticks at hikers. Nature enthusiasts, you've been warned.
5. The ghosts of legislature past won't leave Hartford's Old State House.
The early home of Connecticut's legislative body is now a museum complex, but it seems some former statesmen haven't moved on. During an episode of the TV show Ghost Hunters, paranormal investigators heard sounds of a doorknob turning in the empty Senate Room.
6. Is Abigail's Grille & Wine Bar haunted by its namesake original owner?
The owners of Abigail's Tavern say they were aware of the ghost stories when they purchased Pettibone Tavern and renamed it after the original proprietor. Over the years, many customers have reported spooky activity at the restaurant. Candles mysteriously relight themselves, cold drafts drift out from behind lit fireplaces, and disembodied voices call out the names of employees and regulars. Is Abigail herself the source of these uncanny happenings? Many believe she is.
7. A cemetery so haunted, there's a whole book about it.
Union Cemetery is so packed with paranormal activity, the book "Graveyard" was published just to describe its many hauntings. One of the most famous ghosts, called "The White Lady," might be the spirit of a woman who was murdered after killing her husband. On a more adorable note, the cemetery is allegedly also haunted by animal spirits.
8. After a dark history packed with mutations, bodies melting, and ammunition exploding, Remington Arms sits abandoned.
Once upon a time, it was among the biggest munitions factories in the world. Like many old factories, it was the site of many deadly accidents, including a deadly explosion on the production floor that killed seven workers and injured 40. Since the factory's closing, there have been reports of shadowy figures and orbs moving around the building.
9. Is Charles Island home to more than just Captain Kidd's treasure?
According to legend, Captain William Kidd left a portion of his treasure buried on Charles Island. According to other, older legends, the Paugusset tribe believed the island to be a sacred home to spirits. After they lost the island to European settlers, they cursed anyone who tried to live there. Some have seen glowing ghosts and phantom figures among the island's trees. Could these be the spirits the Native Americans saw, or are they the spirits of the Native Americans themselves, protecting the island into eternity?
While these haunted places are among Connecticut’s most interesting, the state’s long history means there are plenty of spooky sites. Have you visited any sites not listed here? Share your experience in the comments!
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