Witches, ghosts, vampires and more are found in Connecticut’s supernatural lore
Ghost stories and strange lore have always been attached to the small towns in New England and Connecticut certainly has more than a few tales of the strange and supernatural to its name.
While Salem, Mass., has its witches and Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., has a headless horseman, Connecticut is home to a variety of spooky spectres. With Halloween just around the corner, some readers might want to reflect on the alleged encounters with the supernatural in Connecticut.
The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford boasts having a history of haunted sightings and has even been featured on the TV series “Ghost Hunters.” Most towns have a spooky tale that is shared around campfires featuring ghosts, witches and even vampires. The strange occurrences in the state have even inspired horror films like “The Haunting in Connecticut” and films like “The Conjuring” and “Annabelle” that followed the ghosthunters Ed and Lorraine Warren’s supernatural exploits. The Warrens even had their supernatural museum located in Monroe.
Wilton and Monroe have boasted having stories about witches that have caused a stir in their respective towns while legend has it Stratford was home to a smaller set of witch trials. Trumbull, Shelton and Milford share the strange and puzzling lore about the Melon Heads, a group of inbreeding cannibals who supposedly live on the fringe of society. While the stories vary on the origin of the Melon Heads, aptly named due to the misshapen nature of their craniums, all of the tale’s variations warn folks to steer clear of the collection of cannibals.
Ghosts are rumored to appear across the state including the Union Cemetery in Easton, the Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Fairfield and along Gallows Hill in Redding.
Arcadia Publishing recently released a children’s book, “The Ghostly Tales of Connecticut” that offers up ghostly lore about ghost pirates off the coast of Milford, a headless horseman in Canton, the black dog of Hanging Hills in Meriden and more eerie tales.
Scientists even found themselves studying vampiric lore after discovering the puzzling remains of the “Connecticut vampire” at a disturbed burial site in Griswold in 1990. The fear of vampires gripped Connecticut residents during the 18th and 19th centuries when tuberculosis ripped through the area. Those suffering from tuberculosis would cough up blood and their bodies would waste away as the condition progressed, giving them an emaciated and corpse-like appearance. People feared that the “vampires” would rise again which led to some very strange burial practices such as rearranging the corpse’s bones, which led to the archeological discovery of the “Connecticut vampire” or JB-55 whose body was discovered along with 28 other traditionally buried corpses. The discovery of the “vampire’s” bones odd placement has led scientists to continually study the remains. In 2019, a DNA test tied the remains to the Barber family, which scientists are using to study the historical context of the “vampire” burial.
Whether the stories are rooted in research or myth, Connecticut certainly finds itself to be the home of many a supernatural tale.