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 current states' own lifetimes. Despite its smaller size, Connecticut hosts a variety of supernatural phenomena that belies its size and reputation as a wealthy, distinguished place. Connecticut urban legends include everything from ghosts, UFOs, fairy folk, and curses, to 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.
Dudleytown, also known as the "Village of the Damned" was co-founded by the Dudley family – a family allegedly cursed back in England in 1510, when Edmund Dudley was beheaded for conspiring to overthrow King Henry VIII. A scourge was put on his descendants, ensuring death and tragedy would surround them. With or without the Dudley’s, 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 Revolutionary War, had lived in Dudleytown. In 1804, his wife Sarah Faye, was struck by lightning and killed instantly on their front porch. The General himself went insane and died soon after.
John Patrick Brophy was one of the last residents of the town. Many had already moved away, died, or simply vanished. The Brophy family seemed to become the curse's new focus. Starting with the death of his wife, the "curse" also caused both of his children to vanish into the forest just after their mother’s funeral. The Brophy’s house ended up burning to the ground and Brophy himself soon vanished into the forest as well. He and his children were never found.
By the 1900s Dudleytown was completely deserted and the forest reclaimed much of the village. But the dark entity driving the curse was still out there. So when Dr. William Clarke came to Cornwall, fell in love with the empty forest, and purchased 1,000 acres including Dudleytown, the beast began to stir. One summer Dr. Clarke ran off to New York and left his wife alone in their home. He returned 36-hours later to find her completely insane and rambling about creatures living in the forest. She committed suicide soon after. Today, supernatural enthusiasts visit Dudleytown in hopes of capturing proof of ghosts, demons, and the creatures in its woods.
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, Connecticut. The doll, Annabelle, belonged to a nursing student named Donna and her roommate, Angie. After Annabelle came home, strange things began to occur, including vicious nightmares and mysterious scratches appearing on the roommates' guests. Tiny bits of parchment paper started appearing with messages like “help us” scribbled on them in childlike handwriting.
When Donna would come home, she'd find her doll with its arms folded on the couch when she knew she had left it on her bed. They soon brought in a psychic who told them the doll was haunted by the spirit of a little girl. The roommates, taking pity on the child, decided to let her stay–big mistake.
Things became violent in the home and the Warrens were called 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 its way to sympathy. The Warren’s performed an exorcism and took the doll away, storing it behind glass with crucifixes in their famous museum of haunted objects.
The Snedeker family moved into a Southington, Connecticut home in June 1986. After settling in, they discovered their new home was once a mortuary called The Hallahan Funeral Home in the 1920s. Mortuary equipment still existed in the basement, along with a graveyard in the backyard and creepy photographs of corpses found in one of the dressers. The family soon began hearing strange noises and eventually they saw ghostly figures appear. Carmen Snedeker described the beings as having high cheekbones, black eyes, and long black hair. Another entity seen in the home had white hair, wore a tuxedo, and his feet were in constant motion.
The scene in the movie, The Haunting In Connecticut, where the younger child, Bradley gets spun around uncontrollably on the gurney, actually happened to the eldest son, Phillip. Despite being weak from cancer, he attacked his cousin, ended up hospitalized for 45 days, and was subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia. It’s believed former funeral workers committed also necrophilia, providing the source of the evil presence. However, according to the current owner, Susan Trotta-Smith, it’s all Hollywood nonsense.
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 death sparked rumors that Hannah killed him using witchcraft. On an early morning stroll, Hovey allegedly became disoriented and 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 death and told locals she wanted her casket carried on foot, not by wagon, all the way to the cemetery. While the townspeople ignored her request, Hannah's casket repeatedly rolled off the wagon, forcing the men to carry it the rest of the way. After leaving the cemetery, 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 crashes into her tombstone.