Cornwall, Connecticut, USA
In the forest surrounding the quiet little town of Cornwall, CT, lies one of the state’s most dark and intriguing abandoned places. Dudleytown, more aptly named “The Village of the Damned”, was a settlement in the area of present day Cornwall in the 1700’s. It was owned by the Dudley family, who allowed people to settle there. Unfortunately, the soil was poor for farming, so the settlement was abandoned by the 1800’s.
The legends surrounding the little village date all the way back to King Henry VII. Edmund Dudley was beheaded during Henry VII’s reign for treason. Because of that, many believed the Dudley family to be cursed to be surrounded by death and horror.
Many dispute that, as they cannot link those who started the settlement in the New World to the Dudley’s of the Old World, but the mystery surrounding Dudleytown seems to suggest otherwise.
The intrigue of Dudleytown has of course brought many to the area, including paranormal researchers, hikers, thrill- seekers and those who have even just a tiny bit of curiosity of the place. The stories that come from Dudleytown or filled with tales of people gone mad, suicide, unexplained sightings and vanishings, and multiple fatal accidents.
It is said that one of the Dudley brothers who founded the property went insane. Two women, Mary Cheney and Harriet Clarke went mad and Clarke was reported to have seen demons before her death. Many historians claim this didn’t happen in Dudleytown, but either way, the fact that it is connected to the place still adds to its mystery.
There is also a story of a woman who was out on the porch of her house when lighting struck her and killed her. She was one of the wives of General Herman Swift, who was an American Revolutionary War hero. He then apparently went mad and died soon after her, on November 12th, 1814.
Ed and Lorraine Warren, a married and well known pair of demonologist and paranormal researchers went to Dudleytown in the 1970’s. They included it in their Halloween special. After their visit, they officially declared the village “demonically possessed”, which adds to the allure of it being on of Connecticut’s most haunted places.
Dudleytown is now owned by a private party, the Dark Forest Entry Association, therefore you can no longer go into the village. Even if people cannot access it directly, it does not stop the strangeness of the village from leaching into the surroundings. Many have claimed to see orbs in the area while hiking, and they saw the woods are very quiet, eerily so.
The animals in the area are hardly heard. Although many historians dispute the claims of the Dudley family curse, no one can deny the area has a strange feel to it.
The movie The Blair Witch Project, which takes place in a haunted forest, increased interest in Dudley town, which called for tightened security of the village. Police frequently patrol the area, on the lookout for potential vandals or would- be ghost hunters. No matter what, if you ever make the trip out to Cornwall, CT, make sure to take care and keep an eye out for those living and dead.