Even if you don’t spend your days digging around the Internet for paranormal phenomena, you’ve heard of the Bermuda Triangle. But what if you were to discover that one of the many vile vortices was right in your own backyard, and that it was one of the catalysts for much of America’s paranormal activity?
The Bridgewater Triangle is one of the oldest and most compactly haunted areas of America. It doesn’t just have a haunted forest, and it’s not just home to phantom fires and UFOs, it’s a place that’s so haunted that it literally has everything (except vampires, oddly enough).
The history of the Bridgewater Triangle is dense with tragedy, beginning with a bloody war that saw the Native Americans of the area get wiped out in order to make way for English colonists. That fact alone should tell you how haunted the Triangle is, but as you’ll come to discover through the history of this vortex of evil, there a multitude of reasons as to why this area is so spooky.
Keep reading to find out why the Bridgewater Triangle is covered in curses, and how it’s affecting the rest of the country, either psychically or literally. Then go down the rabbit hole and check out Laura Allan’s collection of Bridgewater Triangle stories to get a more in-depth look at the terror that consumes the everyday life of New Englanders who live near this portal to a hell dimension.
When it comes to haunted tracts of land and spooky areas, be it the Seven Gates of Hell or The Bermuda Triangle, most of them could exist anywhere and they wouldn't lose any of their gravitas. But the Bridgewater Triangle - the 200-mile radius area (that is, in fact, more of an octagon) between the points of Abington, Rehoboth, and Freetown Massachusetts - is not only the focal point of American history and democracy, but the beginning of our intensely bloody history with people of color and indigenous races.
The atrocities that were committed on this fairly small plot of land would seep out into the rest of the country, forming much of the paranormal phenomena that we now know. Massachusetts is ground zero for American history: the pilgrims landed there, the modern colonial period started in Massachusetts, and if the Revolutionary War had a central location, it would be Boston.
That's not even to mention the unending amount of spooky happenings that have gone on in the first colony since the 1600s. We murdered people for not being holy enough, freaked out about witchcraft, and committed genocide against Native Americans. Even if you don't believe in the Bigfoot, ghosts, or Satanic cults, you surely recognize the amount of bad juju that's building up in this state - and the Bridgewater Triangle is the central location for much of said juju.
Just ask anyone who lives near a Civil War battlefield or burial sight, ain't no haunting like a haunting where a large group of people died in a senseless and bloody battle because those hauntings don't stop. King Philip's War, a skirmish that lasted between 1656 and 1657, was the last concentrated push by the Native Americans in the Northeast to get rid of the English settlers who were spreading out across New England. Pokunoket Chief Metacom, otherwise known as King Philip, led his people on a 14-month siege that destroyed 12 towns and wiped out 5% of New England's residents, all within what are now known as the confines of the Bridgewater Triangle.
On August 12, 1676, King Philip was shot and killed by John Alderman, a Native American who had converted to Christianity and who was thought of as a race traitor. After his death, Philip was drawn and quartered before his head was placed on a spike outside of Fort Plymouth for 20 years. Those who were left of King Philip's people were rounded up and sold into slavery.
The blood spilled in this battle did many things: it ruined the economy of New England for a few years, destroyed entire towns, and created mass Native burial grounds - and if you've seen Poltergeist you exactly what this kind of thing can cause further down the line. If there were one particular reason that one relatively small area in New England would be known for mass hauntings, eerie sightings, and all around spooky stuff, it would be the genocide of that area's native people.
The Hockomock Swamp may be the most haunted area of the Bridgewater Triangle. Not only does it sit firmly in the center of the triangle, but everything about it is a big neon sign that says "THERE ARE GHOSTS IN HERE!" Before King Philip's War, the swamp was rumored to be known by native peoples as "the place where the spirits dwell," due to its history as an 8,000-year-old burial ground. But rather than avoid the swamp at all costs, the natives used the area to their advantage. They knew colonials were spooked out by the area so if they needed to hide out they just hung out in Hockomock for a while, and post-war, it became the place to stay after raiding a colony.
According to Chris Pittman in the documentary The Bridgewater Triangle, people who visit the swamp later give "consistent reports of an unearthly feeling of being watched." The negative and disruptive energy released when the Wampanoag people were viciously murdered by English settlers likely settled in the swamp, creating a feedback loop of poltergeist activity that exists to this day. Much like the Amityville haunting, any sight of great tragedy or intense violence is going to leave a psychic scar on the area, and whether or not you believe in ghosts, to pretend that there isn't a pall that hangs over the area is asking for trouble on your next visit to the swamp.
According to John Brightman of the New England Paranormal Research group, one of the most haunted places in the Bridgewater Triangle is a ledge in the Freetown State Forest, an area that has seen countless acts of violence, Satanic cult activity, and yes, the slaughter of innocent women and children during King Philip's War. Brightman believes Native American tribes in the area used the ledge as a lookout, but after the war they cursed the land, specifically the ledge, leading people who visit the area to feel a sense of unease around the spot, and he believes the native curse is even the cause for so many suicides occurring on the ledge.
Not to discount the paranormal nature of the Ledge, but this is an urban legend in many communities. If it's not a naturally formed ledge, it's the lip of an abandoned building, or the edge of a particularly steep hill, or maybe it's in a quarry - you do you when it comes to urban legends. The Ledge isn't the root cause for whatever spooky suicide spot exists in your hometown, but this one has been around since the 17th century and may very well have inspired a few copycats.