A compilation of some of Connecticut’s creepiest — or craziest — hauntings, urban legends and destinations. Read on if you dare.
*Many of the locations listed below are private property that is closed to the public *
1 Piano Music Playing From Underneath Salem’s Gardner Lake
Upon first glance, the legend is more weird than eerie. Gardner Lake is famous for the fully intact house that sits peacefully at the lake bottom 30-feet deep.The house is said to have sunk after an ingenious attempt by its inhabitants to move it across the frozen lake, when they took a day long break only to return to melted ice and a sinking home, according to Damned Connecticut.What’s creepy about this legend is that the family was unable to get its heaviest possessions out of the house, including their piano.To this day, fishermen on the lake claim to hear odd, faint, piano music with no source. All agree that the melodies come from below the surface.
2 The Old Walking Leatherman
The true story of the now deceased (1889) famed Leatherman man goes like this:Out of the blue, just before the Civil War, a man dressed head to toe in leather – only carrying with him a walking stick and a leather satchel – began walking.According Dan W. DeLuca’s The Old Leather Man: Historical Accounts of a Connecticut and New York Legend, to his walk was a 360 mile between Connecticut and New York, clockwise circuit which he completed every 34 days for 30 years, no matter the weather.According to legend, he never conversed with anyone, never accepted any favors and lived outdoors along his route year-round. Eventually, he was found dead along his route in Scarborough NY.
3 The Winsted Wildman
Similar to the Bigfoot legend, but unique to Connecticut is the Winsted Wildman.Seen first in 1895, the wildman caused quite a stir. The creature was spotted various times that year and was described as a terrifying “wild, hairy man of the woods, 6 feet in height “A man apparently like no other, according to Damned Connecticut. The first sighting spurred many more that year when they sudde. nly stopped as abruptly as they began.Stopped that is, until about 80 years later when the sightings began again.After scaring multiple people and being described this time as a man-like creature who stood at 8-feet-tall and was covered in hair, the Wildman vanished again into the forest.
4 Holy Land USA, Connecticut’s Religious Amusement Park
Marked by a 50 foot electric cross and a gaudy imitation of the iconic Hollywood sign, both of which light up at night and can be seen for miles, Holy Land USA is a decaying wonder.In the 1950s, evangelist John Geco began his mission (from God?) to build the world’s greatest (weirdest?) religious theme park, Roadside America reports.What was once home to a miniature Bethlehem and other biblical settings created by volunteers out of what appears to be junk and scrap is now host to rumor and legend.The park, closed to the public since 1984, still attracts many visitors – the benignly curious and malicious vandal alike.
5 Little People Village of Middlebury
Officially a roadside attraction and ornamental garden abandoned years ago, the Little People Village is surrounded by rumor and speculation.One legend, according to Enchanted America, says that a man living alone in a stone house in the forest began hearing voices.The “little people” commanded him to build the village and throne (which is supposedly cursed for those who sit on it). The man, eventually driven mad by the voices, killed himself.Weird? Yes. True? Probably not.
6 Stonehenge Part 2
Though not host to legends, this Stonhenge replica is still pretty weird.Located near the Long Island Sound in Sachem Head, CT, the Stonehenge was constructed privately using 13-foot-tall granite slabs.According to Roadside America, it is known to locals as “The Circle of Life,” is astronomically aligned and took over 700 tons of granite to create.
7 Dead Bodies Under the New Haven Green
What used to be a cemetery for the town, the New Haven Green now acts as a town center and recreational place for many.However, what if all the bodies that used to be buried there, claimed to have been moved in the 1800s, weren’t?This horrifying thought was verified just a few years ago as an uprooted tree brought to light more than the residents of New Haven bargained for.According to the New Haven Independent, a human skeleton was unearthed within the tree roots and investigations took place.However, the question remains: just how many bodies are still laying under the green?
8 The Dudleytown Curse
Dudleytown, originally called Owlsbury, was founded in part by the Dudley family – a family in which multiple members met a gruesome end.At first, the settlement thrived but over the years its population dwindled for various reasons (among these, the curse of the Dudley’s), until it eventually was abandoned and left to be reclaimed by nature.According to Damned Connecticut, the story then goes that due to the Dudley curse, anyone who has tried to inhabit the village has met an untimely demise – from demonic possession to suicide.On top of that, those who enter the village claim to have a feeling of intense dread and tend to experience paranormal activity — so the legend goes.
9 Annabelle the Demonic Doll
This story will sound very familiar for those who have seen The Conjuring. In fact, the Annabelle doll featured in the movie is based on a old, haunted, Raggedy Ann doll stored in an Occult Museum in Monroe, CT, according to Enchanted America.Given to her by her mother, Annabelle was originally owned by a nursing student and her roommate. The doll allegedly began to move about their apartment on it’s own. Left on the couch it would be found in closed bedrooms.It also began leaving the girls messages, and they found themselves with strange scratches and cuts. They eventually called the Warren’s — renowned paranormal investigators– who proclaimed the doll was host to a demonic spirit, preformed an exorcism and then placed the doll in their museum of haunted objects.
10 The Haunted Fairfield Hills State Hospital, Newtown
As is the story with many mental hospitals in the early 20th century, treatment was cruel and methods were not made entirely public until after the facility was shut down.The Fairfield Hills State Hospital was not alone in its stories of mysterious deaths and maltreatment, according to Damned Connecticut.Also like many abandoned mental institutions, claims of haunting and paranormal activity abound. An abandoned mental hospital complete with underground tunnels and a sketchy past — how could they not?
11 Gunntown Cemetery in Naugatuck is the Most Haunted Cemetery in CT
The first strange thing about this cemetery – dubbed by some as the most haunted in Connecticut- is that there is no story to explain the paranormal activity.It’s just haunted.As far as these hauntings go, people have claimed to have heard children’s laughter, seen a boy playing who suddenly disappears and sighted a man carrying a lantern up the path. Likewise, reports of strange mists, and “spirit orbs” are rampant, according to Connecticut Paranormal History and Legends.Of course, people also say, upon entering the cemetery, they have experienced extreme temperature drops, feelings of dread and of course — general creepiness.
12 Eeries Music, Voices and Shadowy Shapes at Lake Compounce, Bristol
With its history of tragedies, it’s no wonder Lake Compounce has a reputation for being haunted. Beginning with a property trade from Chief John Compound to a group of white settlers (after which Compound drowned in the lake) the theme park has accumulated a long history of oddities, according to Damned Connecticut. Throughout the years the amusement park has accrued quite the list of deaths, especially freak accidents in relation to the rides. Because of this, it’s no wonder people claim Lake Compounce is haunted. Claims of eerie music, disembodied voices and dark, shadowy shapes are abundant.There have also been incidences of lights turning on and off by themselves, objects moving of their own volition, and general after-hours creepiness reported by security and staff.
13 Local Cops Are Spooked by Remington Arms in Bridgeport
Like any old, abandoned factory – especially one with a history of random tragic deaths – creepy stories are rampant at Remington Arms.Its history of workers falling into boiling vats of metal, as well as freak explosions have led to reports of shadowy figures wandering in the factory as well as eerie lights and voices, according to the Travel Channel. Police officers in the area have mentioned seeing suspicious paranormal-type activity in the factory as well. Local gangs or haunted for sure?
14 Hannah Cranna’s Grave
Slated as “The Wicked Witch of Monroe” after her husband Captain Joseph Covey went out for a walk one day – right off a cliff – Hannah Cranna’s story is quite the local legend.According to the story on Wikipedia, Hannah would scare her neighbors into giving her food, punishing those who refused with bad spells and rewarding her believers with good.Her most influential incident, however, concerns her prediction of her own death.She reportedly told the locals that she would soon die and wanted her casket carried on foot (as opposed to by wagon) to the cemetery. The pallbearers went against her wishes and used a wagon – to no avail: the casket rolled off the wagon again and again.Finally the men were forced to carry the casket on foot, and upon their return to the village they learned that Hannah’s home had burned down shortly after her body left it.Now Hannah still haunts the area. According to legend, each year at least one driver swerves off the road to avoid a woman crossing the street and, in doing so, crashes into Hannah’s tombstone.
15 UFOs, Ghosts and Monsters at Down’s Road in Bethany
A stretch of road, closed at both ends, home to mystery and legend, Down’s Road in Bethany is said to be “one of the most haunted places in town.”People have reportedly seen UFOs on the horizon, shadowy ghosts that walk the street and a small yeti-like monster in the forest, according to Bethwood Patch. Feelings of doom and fear are accompanied by ghostly apparitions and unexplained scratches along the outside of parked cars.Haunted or not, one thing is agreed upon by all: Down’s Road is certainly not a friendly place.
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