Dudleytown

November, 2016 by Ray Bendici

The Damned Story: One of the most renowned damned places in Connecticut is the abandoned—and allegedly cursed—village of Dudleytown.

But as with many "dark" places, Dudleytown wasn't always like that.

Like much of Connecticut, settlers came to the area around what is now the quiet little town of Cornwall in the mid 18th century, and that includes the first Dudleys who came from England (via Guilford) to the Litchfield Hills in 1747. They helped create what became a thriving community, known then as Owlsbury, primarily fueled through the region's growing iron industry. Homes were built, the land was farmed, iron was forged, the town grew and prospered, and all was well.

Or so it seemed.

Some attribute the demise of the town to multiple mundane factors—the depletion of the farmland, the decline of the area's iron industry, the natural progression of younger Americans heading west to settle new lands, etc. Of course, there are others who simply believed the Dudley clan was cursed, as an inordinate number of Dudleys supposedly came to untimely ends, and that the curse extended to the village they helped found. Whatever the cause, Dudleys died off and the settlement's population continued to dwindle until about the turn of the 20th century, when the last resident finally gave up and abandoned what was left of the town. The surrounding forest slowly swallowed up the homes and buildings, and today, the only remnants of what had been are a few crumbling foundations and empty cellars . . .

Oh, and the curse of the Dudleys.

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The story goes that anyone who has tried to live in what had been Dudleytown has come into some terrible misfortune. Over the years, there has allegedly been everything from suicides to demonic possessions, and all the hysterical drama in between. The Warrens famously recorded a Halloween special from Dudleytown in the early 1970s, declaring it officially "demonically possessed," which essentially opened the supernatural floodgates. Since then, it has been home to all sorts of alleged paranormal experiences, with visitors witnessing all manner of spirit and phantom as well as having unsettled feelings of dread and fear. As you might expect, the area has also drawn the attention of those enthralled with dark forces and demonic rituals, plus a healthy number of amateur ghostbusters and teenagers simply searching for trouble. In short, it's become a damnation destination.

Of course, much of the mythology around the "curse" of Dudleytown have been debunked (by a Dudley descendent, no less—the Rev. Gary P. Dudley), but why would anyone let that get in the way of a good spooky story? Quite simply, there are no curses, otherworldly events or dark tradedies in the actual history of the town.

Our Damned Experience: We have yet to visit Dudleytown as a group, but Kate visited back in the day—she didn't have any unusual experiences of note, but did find a number of old foundations and a few odd bumps in the ground.

If You Go: You can't. The remains of Dudleytown are on private property owned by the Dark Entry Forest Association who vigorously discourage all visitors. It is heavily patroled by local and state police, who will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute any trespassers.

View Dark Entry Rd in a larger map

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Submitted by leslie james (not verified) on
Years ago I went hiking on the Appalachian Trail with my girlfriend and her dogs. Although she was petite, only 5'3 and 110 lbs she was a head cocktail waitress and a tough little cookie. A big brooding man in his 60's confronted us and warned he'd call the state police if we didn't haul ass. My girlfriend shouted schutzen to her two attacked trained Rottweilers and they came growling like bears. She told the old dude that one word from her and he'd wish his mother never met his father. Lol. He scurried away like a rat and we found old building foundations and Wiccan symbols but nothing supernatural.

Submitted by c.turner (not verified) on
"During the 1920's Dr. William C. Clark set up a summer home in the abandoned town. One evening he came back from a business trip to find his wife laughing hysterically. She told her husband about the apparitions and demons that had visited while he was absent. She killed herself when they returned to New York. Ironically, Dr. Williams remarried and continued to spend his summers in Dudleytown. In fact, he formed the Dark Entry Forrest Association, which helps to protect Dudleytown's remains. "

I remain scared of these "haunted" places due to possible witchcraft.

Submitted by Wendy (not verified) on
My husband and I went there a few times back in the early 1990's. The first time we went there we were met by a woman (not kidding) wearing black with a black hat walking her black cat.....that was when I had seen the sign Dark Entry Forrest. My first feeling was that I was being watched.... I turned around and I was, I was face to face with a deer...quite unusual....we continued to explore the foundations and what looked like uncapped wells that seemed to be everywhere. We came upon a camp site that seemed to have been left rather quickly. (it had been there for a while) The people seemed to have left tents and camping equipment and clothing. It looked like it had been there for a while. There was a place where they had had a campfire and there was eating utensils and a frying pan. It looked like it had been sitting for a while, as it had leaves and rain water inside them. My husband pointed to a tree, and the trees in the area were very large and had no lower branches. About 1/2 way up the tree there was a fork sticking out of it. About a foot higher, was a knife sticking out of it. For someone to do this they would have to shimmy up the tree like 20 feet or so...very creapy! About 2 weeks later we went back there with his boss and his boss's son. The campsite was still there almost in the same condition as it was before. Again, we looked around and saw all the foundations. I'm not sure exactly what happened next but someone was spooked and we decided it was time to leave. We all climbed into my husband's boss's car and started to leave. The front tire came off the car, and it damaged the car so the drivers door wouldn't open. As we started off walking down the road, a couple gave us a ride. They were at Dudleytown taking pictures for their book they were writing. We always talked about going back, but never did.

Submitted by Jordan (not verified) on
My friends and I wanted to actually take a visit there this season. What is the best way to enter? People are saying Mohawk trail, but what about Dark Entry road? We just want some adrenaline and spooky experiences to talk about.

Submitted by Chris (not verified) on
Hey Folks, life-long CT resident here, never been to Dudleytown, but I went a looked at the area on google maps. Looks like there's some new-ish construction up there. Here's my guess on the "mysterious" Dark Entry stuff: Hate to burst everyone's bubbles, but they want to get rid of the land's stigma and sell it for a hefty profit! Being a student of the Local Yokels here in CT, I have to say, that sounds like them. Everyone looking to make a buck, everyone looking to kill the fun. So yes they're weird and catty about you coming on the land, not because, well they might be worried about lawsuits, but I'll bet they're looking for development deals. If they wanted it for the other usual reason for such actions by people in this state, they'd be looking to make a museum out of it, but if that were the case, they'd be making more about the creepy stories and encouraging responsible exploration of the area.

Submitted by bz (not verified) on
Trespassers did great damage to the area several years ago by lighting fires - many, many beautiful acres burned because someone was looking for a thrill.

Submitted by nate (not verified) on
went there 2 summers ago with 3 other buddies. we decided to enter dudleytown through bald mt. road ended up being a disaster as soon as we pulled up to the no trespassing signs a light from a nearby home came on and 3 huge great danes and an ugly old lady in a night gown were chasing us away the women yelling threatning to call police. it didnt end there. we got back into the car drove outta there and noticed the women was following us in her vehicle! she followed us all the way to goshen we finally ditched her by pulling into aj's a local bar and resteraunt with great food!

Submitted by Steve (not verified) on
@Chris (October 17th, 2011 10:57 pm): Bingo. Shame that money has to ruin (almost, at least) everything. That said, it would be nice if some land trust could get their hands on the property.

Submitted by Drew Chambers (not verified) on
When I was in my teens my friends and I used to go to Dudleytown all the time, 75 76 77 It was creepy at night but during the day it was quite peaceful being from Southbury it wasn't very far away. I also used to mow Union Cemetary when I was in the boy scouts I must of been 11 or 12. I remeber something about the white lady Ghost? Has any one else heard of this ? My scoutmaster was a Guy named Skipper Toth he once spoke of her I think?

Have you heard there is an independent movie being made about Dudleytown? They are now in post-production after a disasterous film shoot - including the arrest of eight cast and crew. You can check it out and stay up to date on the Dudleytown Curse Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/124889004194600/348836755133156/?notif_t=group_activity

Submitted by John DiLeo (not verified) on
I hiked at Dudleytown many, many times between 1977 and I guess it was about 10 or 12 years ago, when the Dark Entry Forest Association closed it to visitors. Indeed, the Appalachian Trail used to pass practically through it, with a lean to for camping, where I'm sure many hikers with no knowledge of the "curse" slept over the years. I can't say I blame them for closing it. After "Blair Witch Project" came out all kinds of folks were going in there day and night, setting up cameras, etc. I did have a few weird coincidences there . . . and always an uneasy feeling . .. but then I knew about the "curse." If I hadn't I wonder what my experiences would have been.

Submitted by Richard murphy (not verified) on
What are they hiding in them woods. The cash crop.

Submitted by will (not verified) on
Yes I know how to get into dudleytown. Its not the way the mean old lady will yell at you. all i am going to say is it's were rt 4 and 7 meet. I been up their 3 or 4 times 1st was with 1 of my friends mean old lady ( who was nice) asked us what we were doing there, we pulled it out of are butts to say we were lost. 2nd time was with my mom I told her watch this some lady will come out and she did, mom started cracking up. 3rd time was with friends we were all high and i was making them bug out by telling them the stories never made it. I want to go back if anyone want to go I am game.

Submitted by nck (not verified) on
Why is it so difficult to find the names of the members of Dark Entry Forest Association? Would town records have them?? Its funny on how little you can find by searching the net on this group...names, how much they paid, the closing date....or am I just not searching correctly.

Submitted by Rachel (not verified) on
Will, I'd love to go to dudleytown. i've wanted to go for some time but I'm scared of the mean old lady. LOL

Submitted by will (not verified) on
Rachel like I said I know the way where the popo's and the mean old lady won't yell at us lol. If you really want to go send me your E mail or facebook we can chat more about it then if you want too.

Submitted by Rachel (not verified) on
Will, shoot me an email when you get a chance. rkg0824@msn.com

Submitted by will (not verified) on
Emailing you right now, check your spam I have aol.

Submitted by Nikolia (not verified) on
I searched this up because of WWE know with the stories im like OMG

Submitted by Dave (not verified) on
Will can u shoot me a email also karb0925@gmail.com

Submitted by will (not verified) on
I just send you an email

NCk, I know a member of the group, he is a direct relative of one of the first families as most of them are.(clarke) I do know they own small cottages in the area, on the mountain etc. He has spent many nights camping, biking etc on the grounds. Sorry to say he has never seen anything unusual, but they did scare a ton of people at night! That said, within a couple of days of him posting this in this forum and inviting me to go mountain biking on the property he received a phone call from a member of DEF threatening to remove his privileges if he followed through with the invite. I tend to understand their position, they own beautiful property and don't want to be woken every night by kids ghost hunting and leaving behind all the crap I would of left behind at nineteen years old.

Submitted by nick (not verified) on
Thanks Steve For the post. You are FAR more understanding than I would have been. I checked the Cornwall town hall...they have a section called "people of cornwall"...but no clarkes...I was a bit surprised. I'm gonna check land records, any info on the sale or the organization of their llc or their INC...SOMETHING is got to be there with info on WHO the individuals are....it seems they are big into their "right" as landowners to exclude people (and I understand who annoying it could be to have a bunch of freaks mess up your land...but, I am ALSO SURE that those are a MINORITY of jerks messing it up for people who simply want to enjoy that section of forest) so, Im pretty big on MY right to research any information that is deemed public records. My brother, who is a big techie researcher for a company in DC told me that after I give it a shot...he would help me out using his databases.......THEY'VE made it such a mystery, now I gotta find out more. Thanks again Steve.....its too bad you couldn't go.

Submitted by David C (not verified) on
I do not mean to solicit through this site by any stretch, but I am definitely interested in forming a paranormal society. I have a lot of tools that can be used to do investigations, but I am having trouble finding people who are willing enough to come with me to the certain places. I do have certain ways to obtain information and access to different places, but I can always use a hand, if you are interested please respond to untitledstory14@yahoo.com, and I will get in touch with you as soon as possible so we can form a new paranormal society.

Submitted by Joe (not verified) on
If anyone is willing to give me and my friends directions please email me at Jeviscuso@gmail.com it would be much appreciated.

Submitted by Richard Murphy (not verified) on
How do we know the DEFA did not set fire to there own wood and blames it on kid . I do not like those people

Submitted by Ian (not verified) on
I have been to D-Town twice in my life and its nothing special. Im an very active backpacker and I can tell you from my experiences in the deep woods that animals tend to get quite when there is a potential predator around. I understand why Dark entry dont want people there. It is a beautiful area and it does have the history of that cornwall locked away inside. I dont advocate trespassing but the public does have the right to experience the what CT has to offer. I am trying to set up hikes to the top of the High Hills in Corwall. These are Bald Mountain, Woodbury Mountain, and The Coltfoot Triplets. Any one interested just respond to this. And now that I know that there is a cave that is being kept from everyone it makes me want to see it more. I would like to be able to contact the people that are in control of the land for permission to avoid unwanted arrests. Kinda sucks it seems that more and more of CTs woodlands are being taken away from the public. How sad.

Submitted by Abigail (not verified) on
I wanna see the cave too. I live nearby and know how to circumvent the local a-holes.

Submitted by Maui (not verified) on
My mother went there with her friends and her boyfriend at the time in the 70's or 80's. It was overrun by a lot of trees and all you see are foundations of old houses, stones, and the feeling there isn't entirely pleasant. Because it is closed, there is no one there to speak to besides the officers that patrol and the animals are normally just birds. There weren't any other creatures to my mother's knowledge. She did say it was an eerie feeling, and it was in the afternoon she went. The sounds there are quiet and she felt it was weird. She's been to a couple of sites where there were tally marks on bricks and tree barks and didn't feel she needed to go back. However, she did with her brother about 3 years later, and nothing was different. I decided to see for myself. Though it is watched by police, you can go in if you go past the street signs into small spaces where no one really patrols. You can tell where the patrolling men are. There wasn't anything to strange, I think I just freaked myself out. After going to Camp Hazen (forgetting the location), I spent time with my counselor that lived a town over. He had nothing but weird things to say about the place and he visited it back in 94 or 96. He did not like the feeling and he immediately left after too eerie of a feeling. He has not been there since. Do be careful, though. Though I've heard different stories, all are not good. Either you go there and not have anything happen, or you go and something happens. It didn't do it for my mother or I, but it did for my friend and his friends. Maybe it depends on the person.

Submitted by Kristen (not verified) on
I was searching for info on the Dark Entry Assoc. Here is a link to an article about the location and how Dark Entry came to be (small tid bit in the beginning) just for all that are interested. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/10/1030_021030_BirdersJournal_2.html

Submitted by Ryan (not verified) on
my friends and me went here a few months ago. It was definitely freaky going through miles of woods to get there, but there isn't much left because all the housing has completely disintegrated. If you go though, go at night. The state can't afford to patrol the place 24/7 so you're in the clear if you go in the middle of the night

Submitted by chloride (not verified) on
me and my wife are planning on going hiking there to dudleytown, would love if anyone could send me some directions that could avoid cops. email is chloride91@yahoo.com chloride91-@-yahoo.com ( remove -- )

Submitted by Larry (not verified) on
I spent a good deal of time at Dudleytown in the early 90's and the place was definitely eerie. The first time my friends and I went was with a large group of more than ten people. A bunch of them were drinking and being loud so me and two others who had never been decided to hang back to see if we could hear or see anything unusual. As we were sitting there and letting the other group get further ahead, we began hearing leaves rustling behind us and what sounded like footsteps. The three of us shined our flashlights at the area where we heard the footsteps coming from and we all saw the ground being disturbed (leaves moving like there were being stepped on) but nothing was there. Needless to say it didn't take us long to catch up with the rest of the group since we ran about fifty miles per hour. Every time after that we went with a smaller group so we could hear and take in what was going on around us. That is just one story of many and I have some crazy pictures (that the Warrens used to ask me for the negatives of) from that place. I probably went at least twenty times but haven't been in over fifteen years so I have no clue what it's like now.

Submitted by MatthewK (not verified) on
Will, my email is matt.koncz@gmail.com. My little brother and I have been dying to go forever. Trying to get up there for his 26th birthday in the next month. lemme know if that invite still stands. Title email Dudleytown. Do you live in the area?

Submitted by Johnny b (not verified) on
Def want to go before they start shooting trespassers lol ive been researching for a good point of entry, I have maps and found the three dead end roads that lead to the grounds, I've been to Fairfield hills a bunch of times and did good at avoiding security, if anyone wants to go or talk about going to other places email me fouracephilly@yahoo.com

Submitted by Johnny b (not verified) on
Def want to go before they start shooting trespassers lol ive been researching for a good point of entry, I have maps and found the three dead end roads that lead to the grounds, I've been to Fairfield hills a bunch of times and did good at avoiding security, if anyone wants to go or talk about going to other places, email me fouracephilly@yahoo.com

Submitted by Richard Murphy (not verified) on
DEFA has never properly serveyed their land so no body knows where it begins and where it ends!

Submitted by Josh (not verified) on
Anybody that's doing tours email me at Joshua7790a@gmail.com it would be a great birthday present.

Submitted by Ian (not verified) on
I would suggest that people take it seriously. The owners DO NOT want people on that land. Dont listen to people that say they will bring you on tours or show you around. The land is patrolled day and night regardless of what people say. Don't let people on here lead you to believe that these back ways in are unknown to the state police and the DEEP, they are. I know this because I have done the proper thing and asked police in the area and residents trying to get official permission onto the land. They know of these places and people have gotten arrested at them. I don't want to rain on anyone's parade but people should know the real facts, yes you can be lucky enough to sneak in at night and get out with no problem. Or you can sneak in and be arrested on the spot because you obtained a false sense of security through other peoples stories. And it's not just the land owners that are watching, many local residents are looking out too. Because they are sick of the people that are attracted to their community looking for ghost or some other nonsense. Sorry to get on my soapbox and preach, I just wanted you guys to be aware.

Submitted by Ian (not verified) on
Oh and to Ryan, I don't know who pays for it but the police are there day and night. Just ask them if you are ever in town and happen to talk to them. You know a random car on the side of a road or parked at state parks after closing hours within the vacinity of Dudley town is kinda a give away that someone might be trying to get in. The comment that you made is the false sense of security that I had eluded to in my previous message. also does everyone on here know how easy it is for cops to catch you when you post contact information on such a public forum. Use your heads guys.

Submitted by Kristin (not verified) on
I visited the Cornwall Historical Society yesterday and purchased 2 pamphlets on Dudleytown. I also saw the organization's "Out of the Woods" exhibit which has some background about the Dark Entry Forest Association and includes old pictures. Most of the history of Dudleytown has been fabricated to make the area seem spookier than it is. I have not explored Dudleytown and I would not trespass because it will make the DEFA less likely to allow hiking through the area in the future. However, a small chunk of Dudleytown can be accessed most of the year (ex Oct 22-Nov 1) via the blue blazed Mohawk Trail. If Dudleytown really is haunted, hang out on that part of the trail during the day and see if you can sense/see anything paranormal.

Submitted by Leslie (not verified) on
Will I'm also looking to get in! Lesliefigueroa1@hotmail.com

Submitted by Richard Murphy (not verified) on
Someone should take pictures of the crazy lady on Bold Mountain Road

Submitted by Luna (not verified) on
It seems to have been a lil while since someone has posted on here, but, I will go ahead and post my thoughts anyway. I am very intrigued by the whole thing. The historical aspect of Dudleytown has peeked my interest as well as the possibility of strange occurances happening in that area. I understand why the DFEA has a tight lid on the location since it seems that a bunch of careless, disrespectful people have been there and vandalized the property or desecrated it in some way. It just sucks that because of these people goin up there actin a fool, it has ruined any chance of respectful people to conduct any kind of exploration or investigation or even taking photographs of the site, for that matter. As curious as I am, and how badly I want to go there, I will not even attempt it because of the risk involved, not to mention, thats its mostly private property. Sorry a bunch of inconsiderate people have ruined it for the rest of us, but thats the way the cookie crumbles, especially with locations that have been said to have "paranormal" activity. I am extremely interested in paranormal locations and historical locations. Since Dudleytown is off-limits I guess I will just have to sit back and enjoy the stories, legends, and myths on the internet, because for every spooky story there is a not-so-spooky story. With all the research I have done on Dudleytown there seems to be a 50/50 chance of it being paranormal or not at all paranormal...so it appears I will just have to carry my curiosity around until it disapates.

Submitted by matt studly (not verified) on
lets do a camping trip up there and video the whole thing!matt mattlewis477@yahoo.com!the old creepy lady is just there to scare u!forget her and lets get the ball rolling!

Submitted by Dernnis (not verified) on
Been there a hundred times in the past, early 90's metal detected and found some cool artifacts, belt buckles, old dining ware, other scrap metal, never removed any of it? I knew who lived where from my own research, forget going in on Dark Entry rd, even though I took my 4 kids in there a few months ago, I saw a couple walking out who lived on the street, and they told me the womans name who freaks out at trespassers, ironic they were allowed to roam about. Either way do your history, Haunted? maybe, too me, historically significant. Too bad crazy people ruin it for nature and historian buffs.

Submitted by Alexandra (not verified) on
DO NOT TAKE ROCKS FROM DUDLEYTOWN! During my high school years I traveled to the wooded area with a few friends at around 3AM. I can attest to the complete and utter silence that fills the air. There were no leaves rustling or crickets chirping. I did not experience anything out of the ordinary while walking around. My friends and I actually split up to cover more ground... and none of us saw anything except a flip flop in the mud near the entrance in which we came through (that hadn't been there prior.) Butttt, two of the guys took rocks from the grounds and as we were leaving and driving down Dark Entry, we hit a bunny rabbit! BAD LUCK ENSUED! Weird, weird, weird horrible things started happening until the guys recognized the correlation and brought the rocks back!

Submitted by star (not verified) on
I want to go to ffld hills union cemetery anyone game?

Submitted by GOLDEN (not verified) on
I'VE BEEN HERE FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS(CORNWALL).1 DUDLY TOWN IS HAUNTED.2 IT IS PATROLLED BY STATE POPO'S.IVE BEEN THERE MANY TIMES I HAVE A PERMIT FROM THE DARK ENTRY ASSOCIATION.IVE ONLY GONE IN BY DAY LIGHT AND WOULD NEVER ATTEMPT IT AT NIGHT.I DONT GIVE TWO FIGS A BOUT" OHH ITS NOTHING, NOTHING GOING ON HERE.THIS PLACE IS NOT TO BE TAKIN LIGHTLY.DO YOUR SELF A FAVOR STAY OUT.I DONT GO THERE ANYMORE NOT WORTH THE THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU.WHATS THERE WISHES TO BE LEFT ALONE.TO THOSE WHO THINK ITS ALL ITS ALL BULL.YOUR ETHER JUST NUMB AND DUMB OR JUST PLAIN STUPID.LIKE I SAID STAY OUT

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