Graveyard Shift

11 Ghost Stories And Urban Legends From Connecticut 

Lyra Radford
Updated March 20, 2020 242.1k views 11 items

As one of the oldest established states, Connecticut certainly comes with no shortage in history or ghost stories. Given the state's lengthy history, some tales span as far back as the 16th century, longer than many other states' lifetimes. Despite its smaller size, Connecticut hosts a variety of supernatural phenomena that contrasts its reputation as a wealthy, distinguished place. Connecticut urban legends include ghosts, UFOs, fairy folk, curses, mutated freaks, and demon dolls. A state famous for many deaths as well, Connecticut possesses no shortage of grim content to curdle your blood and raise the hairs on your skin.

The Constitution State hosts an entire collection of cursed and haunted objects at the famous Occult Museum, established by demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. Some ghost stories from Connecticut have inspired books and horror films, like The Haunting in Connecticut, based on the real-life haunting of the Snedeker family. This list explores some common legends and ghost stories passed around in creepy Connecticut. So, before you make your way to this East Coast state, know that this was your warning.

The Dudleytown Curse
The Dudleytown Curse is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 11 Ghost Stories And Urban Legends From Connecticut
Photo: Wipsenade/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

Dudleytown, also known as the "Village of the Damned," is considered cursed because of its connection with the Dudley family who moved to the town in the 1740s and had such an influence that the place took their name as its own. According to local legend, the Dudley cursed can be traced back to England when Edmund Dudley was beheaded by King Henry VII and his son plotted to overthrow Edward VI and was also beheaded. Another Dudley caught the plague while in the military and spread the disease to thousands of soldiers and civilians. A scourge was put on the descendants of the Dudleys in America, ensuring doom and tragedy would follow them - leading to murder, suicide, and unnatural deaths in Dudleytown, CT. Dudleytown seemed to be a magnet for freak occurrences. The town featured an unusual amount of disappearances, cases of insanity, and bizarre deaths. Around 1759, a mysterious plague swept through the town and took the lives of many.

Allegedly, General Herman Swift, who had served under George Washington in the American Revolution, lived in Dudleytown. In 1804, his wife, Sarah Faye, was struck by lightning and killed instantly on their front porch. Because of her demise, the General himself lost his mind and soon passed. 

John Patrick Brophy was one of the last residents of the town in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Many had already moved away, passed, or simply vanished. The Brophy family seemed to become the curse's new focus. Starting with the passing of his wife from disease, the "curse" also caused both of his children to vanish into the forest shortly after their mother’s funeral. The Brophy’s house ended up burning to the ground and Brophy himself also vanished mysteriously. In another version of the story, Brophy went mad and abandoned the town. 

In another tale, Dr. William Clarke (or Clark) came to the Cornwall region and fell in love with the empty forest. He purchased many acres in Dudleytown and the curse began to stir. One summer, Dr. Clarke ran off to New York for business and left his wife alone in their home. He returned 36 hours later to find her completely insane, and she later took her life. In a more accurate account, however, Clarke's wife took her life in New York. 

Today, supernatural enthusiasts visit Dudleytown in hopes of capturing proof of ghosts, demons, and the creatures in its woods. 

Annabelle The Demonic Doll
Annabelle The Demonic Do... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 11 Ghost Stories And Urban Legends From Connecticut
Photo:  Visit El Paso/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The creepy doll in the film The Conjuring is inspired by a real, allegedly haunted, Raggedy Ann doll that Ed and Lorraine Warren stored away in their Occult Museum in Monroe, CT. The doll belonged to a young nurse who received it as a present. After the doll came home, the nurse and her roommate began to notice strange things occurring, like the doll changing positions and mysterious scratches appearing on their guests. Tiny bits of parchment paper started appearing with messages like “help us” scribbled on them in childlike handwriting.

They soon brought in a psychic who conducted a seance and told them the doll was haunted by the spirit of a little girl named Annabelle Higgins who had once lived in the apartment building. The roommates, taking pity on the child, decided to let her stay - big mistake.  

Things became aggressive in the home and the Warrens came in to help get things under control. The Warrens then informed the young women that their psychic had been mistaken: no little girl existed in Annabelle, just a demon lying in order to win sympathy in order to eventually possess one of the women. The Warrens took the doll away, storing it behind glass with crucifixes in their famous museum of haunted objects.

The Real Haunting In Connecticut
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The Snedeker family moved into a Southington, CT, home in 1986, near the hospital where their son was being treated for cancer. After settling in, they discovered their new home was once a mortuary after finding embalming equipment in the basement. The family soon began hearing strange noises and eventually, they saw ghostly figures. The son underwent a dramatic change in his personality, becoming depressed and aggressive, and other members of the household reported being brutalized by invisible spirits. Carmen Snedeker described seeing one spirit with black eyes and long black hair, and another with white hair and a tuxedo. Ed and Lorraine Warren came in to help with this case as well, and much of the story was covered in the movie The Haunting In Connecticut.

However, according to a more recent owner of the home, it’s all Hollywood nonsense.

The Ghost Of Witch Hannah Cranna Likes To Cause Accidents
The Ghost Of Witch Hanna... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 11 Ghost Stories And Urban Legends From Connecticut
Photo: 2112guy/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Known as "The Wicked Witch of Monroe," Hannah Cranna became quite the local legend. Her real name was Hannah Hovey, wife of Captain Joseph Hovey, whose passing sparked rumors that Hannah took his life using witchcraft. Apparently, while taking a walk one day, Hovey suddenly fell or flung himself off a cliff.

Already a bit of an outsider, Hannah grew more isolated from the townspeople. According to local lore, the witch terrorized her neighbors, threatening to curse those who refused to give her food and promising good luck to those who appeased her. One woman supposedly denied her a pie, and Hannah's subsequent "curse" prevented the woman from ever baking again.

Hannah also predicted her own demise in 1859 and told locals she wanted her casket carried on foot, not by wagon, all the way to the cemetery. The townspeople ignored her request, and Hannah's casket repeatedly rolled off the wagon, forcing the men to carry it the rest of the way. After burying her, the townspeople discovered that Hannah’s house inexplicably burned down. She took all her secrets with her and still haunts the area. As the legend goes, every year, at least one person swerves to miss a mysterious woman in the road and smashes into her tombstone.