Written By: Angela DiLella
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Dudleytown, hidden deep in the woods of Cornwall, Connecticut, is said to be the one of the most haunted areas in the entire state. Originally founded in the early 1740s, the town slowly dwindled until it was totally abandoned in the 1920s. Over the years, there have been rumors of hauntings and even an alleged curse in the area inspiring films such The Blair Witch Project (1999).
Sources have indicated a nobleman by the name of Edmund Dudley was allegedly beheaded by King Henry VII (reigned 1485-1509) for treason. It was said, since that time, the king cursed every member of the Dudley line for generations to come. It is uncertain, however, whether there is a connection between Edmund Dudley and the Dudley family that settled in Dudleytown.
“EDMUND DUDLEY WAS ALLEGEDLY BEHEADED BY KING HENRY VII FOR TREASON AND CURSED THE DUDLEY LINE FOR GENERATIONS”
From this point forward, members of Dudleytown would blame the poor agricultural conditions, epidemics and other natural diseases within their community throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth century. One known example of Dudleytown’s tragic past took place when a family died mysteriously, and others suffered from a tuberculosis outbreak. Another example took place when a woman was stricken by lightning and killed instantly, and as a result, her husband supposedly went insane at the unexpected news and nature of his wife’s death. Furthermore, suicides within the community were common due to the conditions of Dudleytown.
John Brophy was one of the last official residents of Dudleytown, moving into town in 1892. Brophy’s wife died from tuberculosis and his children disappeared in the woods. Some claim this drove Brophy himself to insanity, and certain accounts say he spent his last days in 1901 raving about demons and monstrous animals. At some point, his house burnt down and he was never heard from again. Some sources allege that Brophy was in the house when it burnt down and perished in the fire. However, popular legend says he left the ruins of the house and disappeared into the woods just like his children did years earlier.
Ed and Lorraine Warren, famous paranormal investigators (depicted in The Conjuring films), visited the site in the 1970s and said it was “demonically possessed.” Since then, reports of ghosts and strange beasts began rolling in regularity, with curious visitors unable to resist the area. When The Blair Witch Project came out, visits increased and vandalism became a huge problem, leading to increased monitoring from local police.
Almost all firsthand accounts report an eerie stillness to the area. One would not find any wildlife that would normally inhabit the wooded areas. There is total silence—although some reports say that the eerie silence is sometimes broken by screeches and screams that sound equally unnatural. In addition, scientists have visited Dudleytown and allegedly tested the soil and water. Many accounts have revealed high levels of lead and other metals within the soil which may have contributed to the waves of sickness and madness reported in Dudleytown’s history, as lead could damage brain and organ functionality.
“REPORTS OF GHOSTS AND STRANGE BEASTS BEGAN ROLLING IN REGULARITY”
Today, there isn’t much left of the original Dudleytown besides a few stone foundations, although the no trespassing signs, debris and vandalism will lead anyone looking to the remains of the ill-fated town. Explorers who don’t mind the $75 minimum trespassing fees and potential arrest do still check the area out and report many similar experiences. The only people who keep to themselves are the Cornwall residents themselves. All accounts regarding them say that the residents are sick of curiosity-seekers tromping around the area. That is why the fines and arrest policies have been implemented in recent history.
If you are interested in exploring various historical areas within Connecticut, Cornwall’s historical society has published a list of places that are better to visit if one seeks supernatural activity and events. The Cornwall historical society also actively disputes all common claims of unusual activities or curses within Cornwall. So the question is, do you think Dudleytown is the most haunted town in Connecticut?
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