Dudleytown , CT

 Dudleytown is an abandoned 18th century village in the woods of Cornwall, 
Connecticut. Though controversial with historians and genealogists, 
Dudleytown is one of the most intriguing haunted sites in America.
The first settler in Dudleytown was Thomas Griffis, who acquired the first 
plot of land in about 1738. Others, including the men of the Dudley family, 
bought land and settled in the area around Griffis during the mid-1740s. The 
people in the area helped to support themselves by cutting lumber to fuel 
iron production in a nearby town. Life for these early residents was 
difficult. The soil in the area is rocky and acidic. Being in the shadow of 
three mountains Dudleytown receives little sun.
The intriguing part comes from the curse that many believe the Dudley 
family brought with them when they came from England. This is also where 
various sources begin to disagree. Some say that the Dudleys came from a 
long line of damned people, including a primary carrier of the Bubonic 
Plague and a Lord who lost his head along with Lady Jane Grey. Others 
believe that the Dudleys tangled with powerful royals who arranged to have  
a curse put on them. (This is also the reason given as to why they left 
England.) People also think that the land itself was spiritually unsettled 
long before the town was founded.
   Though it is assumed that Abiel, Barzillai, Gideon, and Abijah Dudley 
were all brothers, there is no proof. At any rate, Abiel is the first 
brother to appear in the records, having been listed in tax records from 
1744. Abiel was also one of the first victims of the curse, loosing his mind 
as well as his money. He lived hand to mouth for the rest of his life, doing 
odd jobs for the townspeople in order to earn his keep.
   Insanity, murder and suicide were rapidly becoming a staple of life in 
Dudleytown. The first recorded fatality happened in 1792, when Gershom 
Hollister fell while repairing a barn. Hollister is believed to have been 
murdered by William Tanner, who owned the barn. Turner soon went insane due 
to the controversy.
Just after moving away from Dudleytown in 1763, most of the Nathaniel Carter 
family was wiped out by Indians. In 1804, Sara Faye Swift was struck by 
lightening and killed. Her husband, General Herman Swift ( a veteran of the 
Revolutionary War ) went crazy afterwards. Dudleytown's most famous resident 
Mary Cheney ( wife of Horace Greeley ) hung herself in 1872.
   Many strange tales were told about Dudleytown during the 19th century. 
People reported seeing strange beasts and apparitions. Corpse mutilations 
were reported, along with still more suspicious and unusual deaths.  Soon 
people began to give up on Dudleytown, and it was mostly deserted by 1900.
   However, people still tried to live in Dudleytown. During the 1920's Dr. 
William C. Clark set up a summer home in the abandoned town. One evening he 
came back from a business trip to find his wife laughing hysterically. She 
told her husband  about the apparitions and demons that had visited while he 
was absent. She killed herself when they returned to New York. Ironically, 
Dr. Williams remarried and continued to spend his summers in Dudleytown. In 
fact, he formed the Dark Entry Forrest Association, which helps to protect 
Dudleytown's remains.
   Many visitors today often report lots of disembodied voices whispering 
and laughing. A woman on a white horse has been spotted among other 
apparitions. People also hear wagon wheels and other sounds of the past. The 
one thing that people do  not hear in Dudleytown are birds and other life 
sounds. Living animals seem to flee the area.  Some believe that this area 
is a vortex, or simply an area of negative energy that attracts unpleasant 
spirits and people.
Dudleytown can be difficult for visitors. The site is considered dangerous 
because many people report  getting minor injuries, being pushed and shoved 
by unseen hands, or simply overcome by feelings of despair. As stated 
before, the area is owned by the Dark Entry Forrest Association and visitors 
after dark are considered trespassers. There are no signs pointing out the 
location as the locals are concerned about vandals and cultists. If you 
choose to visit Dudleytown please obey local laws and exercise caution.

by catmz@theshadowlands.net

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