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.
The Shad Factory Mill Ruins Make Visitors Feel Depressed And Anxious
The Shad Factory Mill ruins have that classic aura of American terror that features an abundance of inherited sadness on top of a good old-fashioned ghost story. Before it was the Shad Factory Mill, it was originally the Palmer River Manufacturing Company, built in 1810. The PRMC dealt primarily with cotton, which means that aside from being built on a Native American burial ground (as is everything in the Bridewater Triangle and New England in general), the workers were profiting off of slave labor. It's like Massachusetts is a bad vibes magnet.
Whatever reason you want to ascribe to the mill falling into disrepair (angry native ghosts, slavery juju, bad luck, etc.), the mill changed hands a few times, burned down once in 1831, had its production halted during the Civil War, then there was a second and final fire in 1884 which leveled the mill.
Modern visitors to the ruins have noted seeing phantom flames, a menacing hooded spirit that appears in the ruins only to disappear when you notice it, a feeling of "sadness and anxiety" that takes over you when you pass through the ruins, and the feeling that you're being watched. It's notable that the feeling of sadness and anxiety likely comes from knowing that the area is rotten to the core, and if negative spiritual energy can be transferred via items, think of all the products that moved out of the mill to various parts of the country. Maybe your great-grandmother wore a dress made by haunted cotton from the Shad Factory Mill.
Bridgewater Gets A Bigfoot
Because all paranormal activity either begins or ends in the Bridgewater Triangle, central Massachusetts finally got its own Bigfoot in 1970 - although there have been sightings of a large hairy beasts in the area since the 1700s.
In 1970, a hairy skunk ape thing began to make its way through the Triangle, obviously freaking out everyone who had the bad luck to come across the creature. Joe DeAndrade had the most well-known sighting of the creature in 1978 when he was walking along Clay Banks pond and saw a large “apish-and-man thing” walking in the woods. People searched the area but didn't find anything, and just when you think that's one unsubstantitated report, fur trapper John Baker saw a similar creature while out laying muskrat traps. The creature crashed through the woods and took a dip into the pond's water.
While the migration of Bigfoot from the Pacific Northwest seems unlikely for a creature that doesn't want to be seen, the next most obvious way that Bigfoot could both be in the woods of Oregon and Massachusetts is simply the fact that Bigfoot is an interdimensional being that can travel to whereever it needs to ne at a specific time. Maybe it likes Massachusetts in the spring?
Satanists Murdered Doreen Levesque In A Dark Ritual
At the end of the 1960s, New Age philosophies were growing darker with the realization that peace and love were not attainable long-term goals. In the wake of the hippie movement, multiple cults began to spring up under supposed gurus, and most of those groups had a sinister undertone. Whether they were being guided by an unknown force from deep inside the triangle, or if they were just nightmare people, a few different Satanic cults sprang up that operated in the Freetown Forest. The most frightening of these cults, led by Carl Drew (a small-time pimp), skipped straight from cattle mutilation to murdering teenage girls.
In 1979, Doreen Levesque, a 17-year old runaway from a New Bedford foster home, was discovered behind the Diman Vocational High School. Her wrists were bound with fishing line and there were signs of sexual torture. Doreen had been stabbed in the head several times and suffered multiple skull and face fractures. Her murder was the first of many offerings to Satan that Drew's cult would make, and it would take at least two more deaths before he was finally brought to justice.
This kind of pagan ritual (or at least paganish) was also the beginning of the Satanic Panic that would grip America throughout the 1980s, making the Triangle the catalyst for one of the biggest setbacks to the pagan lifestyle since the Salem Witch Trials.
A Horrific Murder Fueled Growing Satanic Panic
After Doreen Levesque's body was discovered in New Bedford, cranberry bog workers in Fall River, Massachusetts - a town about 15 miles away, separated by Watuppa Pond - began complaining about people in black robes congregating in the nearby woods. Investigators allegedly discovered a large pentagram in the ground as well as a design made up of carefully placed stones. After removing the pentagram and stones, authorities followed up on the scene and discovered that both the pentagram and the stone configurations had been precisely replaced within a day. It would come to be discovered that most of the Satanic activity in the area would being led by alleged Satanic cult leader Carl Drew.
After he, or members of his cult, murdered Doreen Levesque, they began to cannibalize themselves, and on February 8, 1980, cult member Karen Marsden allegedly had her hair and fingernails ripped out while she was still alive, then she was savagely beaten over the head with stones until Drew snapped her neck. Her head was then cut off and kicked around by other cult members. Her fingers were removed to steal her rings and a large X was carved across her chest.
After Drew and members of the cult were arrested, one member going by the name Cookie would tell police that blood sacrifice was important to Drew's group and that they had to "kill every thirty days or so – on the full moon. It’s always a ritual, that they offer up the victim as a sacrifice to Satan.”
Drew's arrest would put a button on some Satanic murders in the area, but it was only the beginning for the rest of America.