The Mysteries of Dudleytown, Connecticut
I was born and raised in Connecticut, so I’ve always been particularly intrigued with Dudleytown and the mysteries behind this eerie location. I’ve never had the privilege of visiting this location, but I do hope I have the chance someday. Dudleytown is often referred to as the “Village of the Damned,” and is said to be cursed with demons and is crawling with strange paranormal activity.
I should mention, though, that it’s illegal and possibly dangerous to visit this northwestern Connecticut location and you could possibly face a fine of $75.00 per person or more if you’re caught trespassing and parking here. Dudleytown is now owned by the group called the Dark Forest Association, and they do try to keep people from visiting. It’s up to you if you feel the risks are worth having a chance to explore this creepy area, but just be careful…
Bear with me, this post is lengthy, but if you’re curious about the mysteries surrounding this village, you won’t want to miss reading until the very end.
The History of Dudleytown
In the quaint town of Cromwell lies a deserted settlement plagued with evil. At first glance, Dudleytown looks like a typical wooded area in Connecticut with very little remains of what once used to be a tiny village. It used to be a thriving community, settled in the mid-1740’s with houses and farmlands, but not much is left of the settlement beside remnants of foundations, cellar holes, and the evil curse placed upon the land.
The first person to settle in this location was Thomas Griffis, followed by Martin Dudley, Abiel Dudley, and Barzillai Dudley. When they came to this location they attempted to turn this forest into a farmland but found it difficult to grow crops because the area has an elevation of over 1500 feet, surrounded by hills, and gets really harsh winters. The extremely rocky and wet soil also made crops have very little chance of survival. The people of Dudleytown tried like hell to make the soil better. They dug out the rocks, creating a rock wall around this location (some of this still remains today). Dudleytown’s population quickly dwindled as the local iron industry declined in the mid-19th century. People living in this area decided there really just was no hope for Dudleytown and decided to move to an area with richer soil and a hope for a future.
What Do Legends Say?
There are several legends swirling around Dudleytown. The primary legend about why this area is supposedly “cursed” dates back to the time of Henry VII of England around 1510. Edmund Dudley was a traitor during this time and was blamed for the oppression of Henry VII’s reign. He was put to death by beheading and ever since then, the Dudley family has been believed to be cursed. Edmund had a son named John, who followed in his father’s footsteps by also trying to take control of the British throne. John arranged for his son Guilford to marry Lady Jane Grey who was next in line for the crown. The plan ended up failing and resulted in the execution of Lady Jane Grey and two Dudley’s. Guilford’s brother was a military officer and returned home from France, bringing a plague along with him that killed thousands throughout the country.
No one really knows if the Dudley’s just had crappy luck or if they really were cursed or if the Dudley’s of Dudleytown were related in any way to Edmund.
Strange Occurrences in Dudleytown’s History
Six members of the Dudley family died in 1774 from cholera. During this time, Abviel Dudley went a bit crazy, claiming to have seen terrifying green creatures and weird animals. This is just the beginning of the strange things that took place in Dudleytown.
There have been many strange deaths that occurred in Dudleytown, igniting the sinister rumors that surround this now deserted location. The Adoniram Carter household suffered some pretty bad luck in August of 1774 which killed the whole family. The Nathaniel Carter family became distraught over the deaths and moved to Binghamton, New York. Indians came and killed Nathaniel, his wife, and infant. Three other children of the Carters were kidnapped and ransomed in Canada. David Carter, the son, was also kidnapped and eventually married an Indian woman, returning to the United States, escaping the curse of Dudleytown.
Another weird tragedy stuck in 1804 when the wife of General Heman Swift was struck by lightning and killed instantly when she was on their front porch. Not long after his wife Sarah Faye’s death, Swift is said to have gone crazy and became demented.
In 1874 another tragedy occurred to the wife of Horace Greeley. Horace Greeley was the found and editor for the New York Tribune and he married Mary Cheney, who was born in Dudleytown. One week before Horace lost his bid to become president of the United States, Mary took her own life, claiming to have seen demons before her suicide.
In 1792, Gershom Hollister, a Dudleytown resident, was murdered when he was building a barn for William Tanner. Tanner is said to have constantly babbled about demonic creatures.
Dudleytown’s last residents were also struck by tragedy in the late 1800’s. John Patrick Brophy’s wife died of “consumption” after their two children disappeared mysteriously in the woods. It’s possible the children vanished because they were in trouble for stealing sleigh robes and were attempting to run away from the law. Brophy became sickened with grief after losing his entire family and somehow following these events, his home burned to the ground. No one knows how the fire started, but people believe Brophy started the fire and then left Dudleytown, never to be seen or heard from again.
Around 1899, Dudleytown became completely deserted because the children who grew up there got married and moved away.
Dudleytown received new hope when a cancer specialist by the name of Dr. William Clark built a summer home in Dudleytown in 1920. He fell in love with the land and formed the Dark Entry Forest Associated to preserve the natural land. He wanted a place that he could bring his grandchildren to during the summers. In the mid-1920’s, Dr. Clark was called away to New York City for an emergency, his wife stayed behind. Dr. Clark was only gone a few days, but when he returned he found his wife laughing hysterically, claiming something came from the forest and attacked her, leaving her completely insane. She committed suicide shortly after this.
Reverend Gary Dudley, who has no relation to Edmund Dudley is a family genealogist, believes the demonic experiences people have at Dudleytown are the result of decaying rye in the area. When rye is left to decay, it becomes moldy and mold is a hallucinogen. While skeptics may believe this theory, it doesn’t explain most of what happens in Dudleytown.
Many residents of Dudleytown became insane and claimed to have seen monstrosities in the forest. The things they claim to have seen were definitely nothing natural.
Paranormal Experiences at Dudleytown
Some people that visit Dudleytown don’t experience anything unusual. Residents that live close by also say they’ve never experienced anything paranormal or strange. However, there are many people that have had frightening experiences in Dudleytown.
The most common experiences people have in Dudleytown include feelings of dread and terror, being touched, scratched, and pushed by unseen hands, mysterious lights, and creepy sounds that resemble what a large dumpster being dragged across concrete would sound like. It’s apparently very quiet in Dudleytown, lacking wildlife and other sounds of nature, making this area even creepier. Many individuals come to Dudleytown to perform satanic rituals, with remains of animals used for sacrifice left behind.
Dudleytown is located at Dark Entry Road in Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut. This area is off-limits and heavily patrolled. You’re not supposed to go anywhere near this location, and there are many people that live nearby and will report anyone they see attempting to enter Dudleytown. Have you ever been to Dudleytown? I’d love to hear your experiences. This place fascinates me and I’ll always be intrigued by real experiences people have here. Do you believe in the Dudley Curse, or do you believe this is just a regular place where some tragedies occurred, like any other place? Anyways, thanks for reading this long blog post! I appreciate your support. Stay tuned for the next installment of The Creepy Corner!