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Dudleytown

is a famous “ghost town" located in the woods of Connecticut. Founded in 1737 by Thomas Griffis, Dudleytown was never a town but a township, part of Cornwall. The forest there was thick, and the land hard and full of stones, so living there wasn’t favorable. It is currently supposed that there were high levels of lead in the water there, as well as Native American tribes around the area fighting to take back their rightful land. Lightning strikes, disease, disappearances and suicides followed residents of Dudleytown, and by 1899 it was abandoned. In the 1920s, a doctor moved with his wife to the quiet forest, charmed by the peace, but after returning home from an emergency procedure, he found his wife had gone mad. It was believed something from the forest attacked her, and she was moved to a mental hospital. The circumstances around Dudleytown and it’s penchant for distaster came to be called a "curse,” though most believe the town just didn’t survive time.  

Source for second (top right) picture.

Dudleytown is a place that few people seem to know of, but those who do know the story find it a little strange if not spooky. Stories of the town have inspired countless books and movies over the years. The reason is that this little Connecticut town was so haunted that its residents actually ran to escape the ghosts and demons there.

Dudleytown was officially named in 1747, though the town had already existed for a handful of years. Legend claims that a cursed member of the British Dudley family founded the town. The curse supposedly dated back to the 16th century, and would bring failure and death to all descendants of the family line. A number of the family members all experienced heartbreak in England before the family arrived in America.

Gideon Dudley purchased land from a man in the small town, and his two brothers also purchased land. Yet another Dudley arrived in town, and though he wasn’t related to the three brothers, he died marry into their family. A handful of other families arrived in the area, bringing the total up to 26 residents.

Before long stories began spreading about the strange and mysterious deaths occurring in Dudleytown. One of the Dudley brothers lost his mind after he lost all of his money, and died a broke and crazy man. The other two brothers moved away with their families, and had long and fulfilling lives outside of the town. However the curse struck a number of people not related to the family. One such man was Gershon Hollister.

Hollister was accidentally killed in the barn of a close friend, though no one is quite sure what happened. The man who owned the barn, William Tanner later went insane. Before his death he began telling others that he saw things in the woods outside of town. There was also a strange disease that passed through the town in the 1760’s, killing several people there. Another resident was struck by lightning, which caused her husband to go insane not long after her death.

Following the Civil War, Dudleytown slowly became a ghost town. Residents of the town left for better places where they had access to more things. Some ghost towns hold on for years, with some residents refusing to leave, and that was also the case with Dudleytown. John Brophy decided to keep his family there, even though everyone else had left. These would prove to be a big mistake.

Brophy saw his entire life change within just a few short months. His wife died, and immediately after the funeral, his only two children walked into the woods and seemingly disappeared. His house then caught fire mysteriously and Brophy finally disappeared himself.

Following the last resident’s death, a Dr. Clarke purchased a large plot of land in the area and officially became the owner of Dudleytown, or at least what was left of Dudleytown. Legend claims that the man left his wife there for a few days, and returned to find her completely insane. After screaming about the creatures in the woods, she killed herself in their house.

A few years later the man remarried, and built a new house for his bride. Together with a group of their friends, the couple formed the Dark Entry Forest Association. With trees and forests being destroyed across the country, they hoped to preserve the land here. Clarke and his second wife died during the 1940’s, but their descendants still live nearby.

Today there is little left of Dudleytown except for a few foundations and trails that were once roads. The town seems a little like Helltown, a popular urban legend told in Ohio. People hiking in the area sometimes accidentally find their way into this old town, and some believe that those people are responsible for the legends told of the town.

Of course some truly believe that the Dudley family was cursed, and their history of problems followed the family for a number of years. However there is no link between the Dudley’s in America and the Dudley’s in England. Recent genealogists have even proven that the two families were not connected in any way.

Stories persist that there is something in Dudleytown that turns people insane; the creatures in the woods, or something even darker. Visitors claim to feel someone scratching their skin, or hear things running through the woods. There also stories of odd feelings and strange lights in the woods outside the remains of the town.

Locals take Dudleytown very seriously, enough so that they closed off the town. Hiking trails that once led through the town are now re-routed, and they do prosecute trespassers found there. It seems as though everyone is tired of the legend, and those who continue to believe the tale of this cursed town.

One of the most renowned damned places in Connecticut is the abandoned — and allegedly cursed — village of Dudleytown.

But as with many “dark” places, Dudleytown wasn’t always like that.

Like much of Connecticut, settlers came to the area around what is now the quiet little town of Cornwall in the mid 18th century, and that includes the first Dudleys who came from England (via Guilford) to the Litchfield Hills in 1747. They helped create what became a thriving community, known then as Owlsbury, primarily fueled through the region’s growing iron industry. Homes were built, the land was farmed, iron was forged, the town grew and prospered, and all was well.

Or so it seemed.

Some attribute the demise of the town to multiple mundane factors — the depletion of the farmland, the decline of the area’s iron industry, the natural progression of younger Americans heading west to settle new lands, etc. Of course, there are others who simply believed the Dudley clan was cursed, as an inordinate number of Dudleys supposedly came to untimely ends, and that the curse extended to the village they helped found. Whatever the cause, Dudleys died off and the settlement’s population continued to dwindle until about the turn of the 20th century, when the last resident finally gave up and abandoned what was left of the town. The surrounding forest slowly swallowed up the homes and buildings, and today, the only remnants of what had been are a few crumbling foundations and empty cellars …

Oh, and the curse of the Dudleys.

The story goes that anyone who has tried to live in what had been Dudleytown has come into some terrible misfortune. Over the years, there has allegedly been everything from suicides to demonic possessions, and all the hysterical drama in between. The Warrens famously recorded a Halloween special from Dudleytown in the early 1970s, declaring it officially “demonically possessed,” which essentially opened the supernatural floodgates. Since then, it has been home to all sorts of alleged paranormal experiences, with visitors witnessing all manner of spirit and phantom as well as having unsettled feelings of dread and fear. As you might expect, the area has also drawn the attention of those enthralled with dark forces and demonic rituals, plus a healthy number of amateur ghostbusters and teenagers simply searching for trouble. In short, it’s become a damnation destination.

Of course, much of the mythology around the “curse” of Dudleytown have been debunked (by a Dudley descendent, no less — the Rev. Gary P. Dudley), but why would anyone let that get in the way of a good spooky story?

- See more at: http://www.damnedct.com/dudleytown/#sthash.jGvDs7FF.dpuf
The owls—those cursed owls. All night long—most of the time during the day, too. The town is never really sunny—there is always a haze. It’s mainly because of the location, completely surrounded as it is by hills. The little town was just off of what is now U.S.7, just east of Cornwall Bridge. It has two entrances—though you will have to look hard for them—one is called Dudleytown Road, and the other Dark Entry Road. It’s deserted now—except for the occasional teenagers out for a thrill, or maybe a few Satanists wanting to cast their spells in a “real” haunted town. If a town is want you can still call it. There are a few stone foundations left, a chimney here or there. And, of course, there’s the “curse.” But should you wander out there some day, it will be the owls that will really bother you—those cursed owls!
—  The Legend of Dudleytown CT
The Haunting at 3 AM

I have had paranormal experiences since childhood. There are too many to share, so I will tell you of my must current encounters.

About eight years ago (2006), my husband and I moved into a Colonial home in New Preston, Connecticut. We rent. The home is situated on the East Aspetuk River (not far from Dudleytown). Upon viewing the home for the first time, I felt a presence. This happens to me often. Lorraine Warren (renowned demonologist) once told me that I will always attract ghosts because of my energy, so I wasn’t spooked out of signing a lease.

My husband didn’t believe in ghosts until our first night in this home. He, too, felt something was amiss. For months we would come home to all of our TVs on playing ’50s-style music. We would feel the pressure of someone sitting next to us on the couch or bed with no one there. Our bedroom was extremely cold, even in the summer.

After about seven months here, we began an extended dog-sitting favor for a friend. Bailey (the dog) adored me and never left my side. One night at 3 a.m. I woke to him trembling in the bed. No matter what I did, I could not soothe him. Then the smoke detector went off. Bailey took off like a shot out of the bedroom. I gave chase.

When I returned to the bedroom, my husband was absolutely white. He could not disarm the detector. Even though he removed the batteries and all the wires, it was STILL RINGING! We eventually stuffed it in a drawer under heavy clothes to muffle the sound. Bailey never re-entered our bedroom for the rest of his stay. He would lay in the doorway and whine and whimper, as if he didn’t want me in there either when I went to bed at night.

A month or so later, I was lying in bed at 3 a.m. trying to fall asleep when I heard footsteps walking along my side of the bed. They seemed to pause every once in a while at the head of the bed, and then resume their march up and down the space between the wall and the bed. I just lay there with my eyes closed. The footsteps grew louder and quicker. I still would not look. I just knew better not to. Then the most ungodly growl filled the room, waking my husband. He turned on the lights to find nothing there.

About a month later, the landlord finally told us that six weeks prior to our moving in, a tenant committed suicide in our bedroom. Interestingly enough, he was the second person to do so. Twenty years ago, a woman also killed herself in — you guessed it — our bedroom. We began praying for the souls of these tortured ghosts.

Activity has reduced greatly. Every once in a great while we will be reminded of their occupancy, but, I think that we have all learned to “live” together.

Pumpkin Delights are the best. :)
They remind me of my Grandma Mildred (or Cracker as we so fondly called her haha) who kept them stockpiled all year round at her house. We would eat them as dessert after our Ham Salad sandwiches from the Dudleytown Deli. And for Halloween when we would stop by grandma’s? She would give you 4 or 5. :)

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