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Haunted New England Part 5: Creepy Connecticut

October 14, 2016

Choosing Connecticut’s six most haunted spots was very challenging. There are just so many great options to choose from, which is great for ghouls like me and you, but not so good for the folks of the Constitution State.

Want to learn more about Connecticut’s creepy history? Check out hauntedplaces.org‘s full list.

  1. Union Cemetery, Easton

This 400-year-old cemetery is home to the famous White Lady, a ghostly figure in a long white gown. She is known for appearing in the middle of the nearby highway to terrify passing motorists who swerve to avoid her, only to find that she has disappeared when they look in the rear-view mirror.

Ed and Lorraine Warren of The Conjuring fame claim to have seen and photographed the White Lady. Several stories exist to explain who the apparition was in life, including a forlorn mother, a black widow, and a murdered wife. The White Lady is also rumored to have a sinister, red-eyed co-haunter who also roams the cemetery.

2. Fairfield Hills State Hospital, Newtown

This state owned facility was a home for the criminally insane opened in 1931 to relieve overcrowding at other facilities. Fairfield Hills consisted of 16 buildings built upon 770 sprawling acres with a system of underground tunnels underneath. Sounds a bit like American Horror Story: Asylum, right?

Unfortunately for the patients, the similarities don’t end with the architecture. Rumor has it they were subjected to electric shock therapy, hydrotherapy, psychosurgery and frontal lobotomies. Several patients committed suicide and succumbed to “mysterious” deaths.

The facility closed in 1995, but has since been featured on the MTV show, Fear and as a creepy backdrop for the film, Sleepers. No specific ghosts are known, but tales of strange occurrences in the underground tunnels and odd experiences from the staff abound.

3. Seaside Sanatorium, Waterford

Opened in the 1930s as a children’s hospital, Seaside Sanatorium has also served as a home for the elderly, a medical hospital and a facility to treat the mentally handicapped. The architecturally exquisite building overlooks Long Island Sound, but it’s beauty could not save Seaside from allegations of patient abuse. By the 1990s patients were dying at an alarming rate and the state shut the facility down in 1996. These strange deaths coupled with the high patient suicide rate have led to the Sanatorium’s reputation as a prison for restless souls.

4. Norwich State Hospital, Preston

The third of Connecticut’s abandoned state mental facilities, Norwich State was built in 1904 on the site of an ancient Native American village – anyone who’s seen Poltergeist knows that’s asking for trouble! In its heyday 30 buildings, connected by underground tunnels sat on 470 acres on the Thames River. Over the years Norwich housed murderers, drug addicts and violent offenders.

Reports of cruelties inflicted by the staff, including beatings, starvation, sexual abuses  and solitary confinements circulated and the hospital experienced dozens of violent deaths. A patient hanged himself in 1914, a hot water heater explosion in 1919 killed two employees, another employee was killed trying to cross the road, a nurse killed herself at her home and multiple patients died while undergoing treatment.

Finally shut down in 1996, several paranormal hunters have investigated the spirits at Norwich State including the show, Ghost Hunters. The buildings are supposed to be torn down, but until that happens passersby continue to report ghostly shapes, disembodied voices, foreboding feelings, spirit orbs and unexplained mists/shapes.

5. Dudleytown, Cornwall

The village of Dudleytown was settled by English immigrants in the mid 18th century. At first the village seemed to prosper, but several factors would eventually lead to the demise of the settlement. Some believe the people of Dudleytown were cursed due to the number of strange deaths. Finally the remaining villagers gave up and abandoned the settlement.

As the forest slowly engulfed the crumbling foundations, reports of terrible “accidents” befalling anyone who tried to move onto the land emerged. Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated the site in the 70’s, declaring it “demonically possessed.” Visitors brave enough to visit the site describe an unnatural quiet and stillness, feelings of terror and spirit sightings.

6. Undercliff Sanatorium, Meridan

Yet another mental institution, this one privately run. Although it has been closed for decades, the abandoned facility still stands and passersby have experienced everything from the chilling laughter of children to mournful wailing. Others even claim to have seen the apparitions of former patients in the broken windows. One unsubstantiated story says the spirit of a murdered resident still walks the now-closed grounds.