American Folklore

Connecticut: American Folklore #7

Connecticut has a long history of folklore, going back thousands of years with Native Americans, and more than four hundred years with Europeans. Some creepy things have happened there, some of which were turned into movies. Here are some of the highlights of Connecticut folklore.

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As one of the original thirteen colonies, Connecticut has a long history of European settlement, going back to the 17th century, and Native American settlement going back thousands of years before that. Located in snowy, freezing New England, where there is little daytime light during the winter months, this state is prime territory for a host of interesting, creepy, and detailed folklore. Here are some of its more interesting tales.

Strange Goings-On in Dudleytown

Dudleytown was founded, unsurprisingly, by the Dudley family. More than a century before its founding, a member of the family, Edmund Dudley, allegedly got the family cursed when he plotted to overthrow King Henry VIII (and was subsequently executed for it via beheading). Tragedy was supposed to follow the family thereafter, and for a while, it seemed like it did. One of Dudley’s sons and one of his grandsons were also beheaded for treason (his grandson was only 18 years old and his only crime was having married the wrong person, in a marriage his parents arranged, so he was actually quite innocent).

Edmund’s descendants founded Dudleytown, and the supposed curse seemed to follow them to the New World. And, the town that bore their name did seem to be a hotbed for strange occurrences. Dudleytown has experienced an unusually large number of disappearances, cases of people going insane, and deaths that occurred in bizarre ways. There was even a town-wide plague there in 1759 that was never explained, but that killed many residents of the town.

So many strange things happened in Dudleytown, in fact, that people began moving away after a few generations (the ones who didn’t die or vanish, anyway). Eventually, only one family, the Brophys, was left in town. Once the Brophy family was alone in town, the curse seemed to focus on them. John Brophy, the patriarch, not only lost his wife but both his kids vanished in the forest right after her funeral. If that weren’t enough, John’s house burned down, and then he vanished in the forest, too. He was never found, and neither were his children.

Dudleytown was deserted by the early 1900s, though its curse still seems to linger. One intrepid camper came to Dudleytown with his wife and left her alone for a day and a half while he went to New York to take care of some business, he came back to find her completely insane, and she killed herself soon after. What was once Dudleytown is now a popular spot for ghost hunters and those interested in the supernatural.

The Real Annabelle

Anyone who saw the movies The Conjuring and Annabelle knows about the spooky haunted Raggedy Ann doll. It’s a real doll, and it is kept in Ed and Lorraine Warren’s Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut. The doll once belonged to a student, and strange things happened in the girl’s dorm once she brought Annabelle home. Guests would get phantom scratches, pieces of paper with creepy messages appeared with childlike handwriting, and the student and her roommate experienced bad dreams while the doll was there. A psychic told them the doll was possessed by the ghost of a little girl, and the student and her roommate felt sorry for her and let the doll stay. This was the wrong move.

The doll began to make violent things happen, and expert psychics Ed and Lorraine were brought in. They said it was no little girl, but a demon inside the doll pretending to be a girl to get sympathy. They performed an exorcism on the doll, got rid of the demon, and brought the doll to their museum. It is stored with crucifixes with their museum’s most haunted items.

The Inspiration for A Haunting in Connecticut

Another movie was inspired by Connecticut folklore—A Haunting in Connecticut. In the real-life version, the Snedeker family moved to Southington, Connecticut in 1986. The house they moved into used to be a mortuary in the 1920s, and some of the equipment was still in the basement, along with photographs of some of the corpses that were there back in those days. The family soon started hearing strange noises and seeing ghostly figures in the house, some of which appeared quite evil. The eldest son in the family became unnaturally full of rage and beat up his cousin, and was also spun around on a gurney by seemingly no one. While the current occupant of the house says nothing unusual has happened to her there, the Snedekers definitely believed something weird to have happened to them, and they eventually left the house.

Don’t Go Down Downs Road

In Bethany, Connecticut, there is a famous road called Downs Road, and it is supposedly haunted, cursed, or both. People on the road feel uneasy from the vibes it gives off to passersby. Many people have reported seeing shadowy figures darting around on the road, and there have also been a high number of reported sightings of large-headed beings and UFO’s by people on the road. There is even a Downs Road Monster, which is said to be four feet tall and resembling a Yeti, which resides in the forest alongside the road.

The Wildman of Winstead

The Wildman of Winstead, Connecticut was first reported in 1895. According to the Winstead Evening Citizen, he appeared more like a man than an animal, so he couldn’t be a Bigfoot. He was very tall, hairy, and limber, and also naked. The sighting of the Wildman freaked out the town, but after the one sighting, he went back into the woods and wasn’t seen again for eighty years. The Wildman appeared again in July of 1972, and sightings of him continued for the next two years, then stopped again just as abruptly as the first time. There was some speculation that the second sighting may have been a man named Arthur Beckwith, who was an escaped mental patient who roamed the countryside. However, this was never confirmed.



Will founded Ancestral Findings in 1995 and has been assisting researchers for over 25 years to reunite them with their ancestors.