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 boss (not verified) on
I lived, for a couple of years, on Bald Mountain Rd. (fairly recently) and had guest passes to hike in Dark Entry Forest and Dudleytown, but I didn't always carry them. Never had a problem. I can attest that the Dark Entry Forest Association is just a group of the local property owners that want to keep kids, campfires, garbage and the like out of the forest. Some are more than a bit overzealous and others are more laid back about it. They are older folks, and live in Northwest Connecticut, you can understand, they have little else to focus on. My experience is, the worst thing you can do is park on Dark Entry Road or Bald Mountain Road. That obviously draws attention. Also, going around Halloween is more treacherous, as they step up police patrol around that time. I've heard that one of the women on Bald Mountain Rd. brings donuts to the barracks around Halloween to encourage extra attention to their trespassing concerns. However, if you park somewhere to hike the Mohawk or Appalachian Trails, near intersection of Rt. 4 and Rt. 7 and then enter the forest via the Mohawk Trail, I'd imagine you'd be OK. The Mohawk Trail gets very close to Dudleytown, and I'd be surprised if you had any trouble getting the rest of the way as long as you are quiet. That said, the right thing to do would be to make a quick visit, and at least not drop trash or build fires back there.

Use the Facebook page if you want to share photos guys, Also we did a Podcast on Dudleytown. http://goo.gl/YuDmAa

Submitted by Greg (not verified) on
I have stayed in Dudleytown somewhere around five times with groups ranging from 12 to 3. EVERY time I've stayed there something "odd" has happened. I've heard screams that we couldn't locate, the direction kept changing. I've never seen or heard a bird while there. On a completely still night in early fall, while there with 11 other people, we heard screams, footsteps, & late t night ( 3-4am) a limb fell from a tree missing my tent & my neighbor 's by about an inch. The odd thing was, it wasn't rotten at all, THERE WAS NO SOUND! Of course we left the place cleaner than we found it - unlike too many others! That's why it's CLOSED!!

Submitted by Claire (not verified) on
My friend and I explored Dudleytown with our dogs back in 92. I don't think they had closed it off at that time. As we walked on the road the dogs become increasingly agitated as we got closer to the site, lots whining and moaning. As many commented, the silence was deafening and there was definitely a "heaviness" to the place. I have spent lots of time in the CT woods and had never experienced this kind of "quiet". It was extremely unsettling. We explored the foundations for a while but the dogs clearly did not want to be there. They kept pulling us back - my dachshund usually loved sniffing and poking around in the woods, but not this place. My friend's normally German shepherd lived for nature walks - we had never seen either dog act like this before. They got calmer after we left and headed back to the car. They were completely wiped out after we got home. I'm thankful for the experience but we both felt one time was enough. A few weeks later we attended a lecture with the Warrens in New Milford. During Q&A, I asked for their thoughts on Dudleytown. Ed said "We don't talk about that place" and moved onto the next question. I've been to several Warren lectures and don't recall them ever responding like that to a question.

Submitted by Brandon (not verified) on
I've never been to Dudley Town but I have heard many stories about the place. I love history, especially abandoned places. I think it's great when nature begins to take over man made objects. On the other hand, Im scared shitless of ghosts and want nothing to do with them. Too bad for me, most abandoned places are associated with ghosts and paranormal activity. Anyways, before reading this blog and all of the posts that follow, I thought that Dudley Town was much more than a few abandoned foundations. I know of a place that sounds very similar and yet there are no stories of the place being haunted. This place that I know of is in a section of woods where people used to live in the 17 and 18 hundred. Complete with old stone foundations, uncapped stone wells, the stone foundation of a school house that burnt down in the 1930's, cars from around the 40's or 50's that have just been left in the woods in an area that you can't even imagine how they got there, and last but not least, 2 cemeteries out in the woods with people buried from the 17 and 18 hundreds. I've even heard a story about someone paying to have his grandfathers remains dug up from one of the cemeteries, taking only the skull, and leaving the rest of the remains scattered about the surface of the grave. I've been hiking these areas since I was a kid and have never experienced or heard of anyone experiencing any paranormal activity. So there must be some truth behind all of the stories about Dudley Town since there is another site just like it that no one ever talks about. However, I think a lot of people go to these "huanted" places with all of these stories in mind and automatically feel a certain way, just because they know the history of the place. When you feel like somehting is watching you, you have that feeling not because you can literally feel something, but because you know your in an environment where someone, or something, might be watching you. Im sure the next time I go hiking through the area that I just described, after reading all of these stories, I'll be looking over my shoulder a few times.

Submitted by Pete (not verified) on
I need to speak with GOLDEN

Submitted by Tim (not verified) on
Over the oast couple days i have, in some cases, stayed up all night to read these posts. I can honestly say that some of these stories are complete junk and other i find to be fascinating. I have never been to dudleytown but i as i began to read these, i was really eager to go. However, upon reading some darker, more unexplained posts, i am feeling very uneasy. I have no clue how some of these people made it through the night there. I would honestly be crapping my pants. However, i would like to visit with a small group during the days, just to explore and enjoy nature, not so much for the scary spooky part. I suggest that anyone entering for a natural purpose (i.e. Hiking, birdwatching, etc.) make their presence known and explain that they are coming to enjoy the beauty and peace. You should be left alone. Obviously it seems that these spirits are annoyed by kids leaving trash and degrading the nature of Dudleytown. As for the cops, im not too worried. Those lazy pieces of sh*t spend more time at dunkin donuts than doing their job. Needless to say, im not advising anybody to make a campfire and set up shop. If there is a sort of demonic presence/spirit in the area, taking something from there could be the stupidest thing you could ever do, all these spirits want to do is cause trouble and chaos. I agree with golden and some other posters, its not worth the risk to be snooping around looking for answers to the unknown, but i believe if you go to explore the beauty of nature you should be fine. That is just my 2 cents on this subject, i am eager to hear more stories and some sensible opinions from people who have been there.

Submitted by Justin (not verified) on
Iv been to duddly town many times and ths silence is legitimate. I have also hearef screams from no whetr in orgin. Walking back from the trail to dark entry road I have seen black shadows following me and my freind who passed out from a panic attack had to carry him to the car. And il say I have been their many times and have no run in with johny law but I have gotten kicked out once on dark entry road by a old women. I have been up bald mountain road as well and after reading this I have to say their is land brige crossing a stream that if you ver to the right takes you to dt I must say be carefull I got lost up their for 6 hours till we found are way back in 2010 I would like to go back and investigate more id also like to vist the cave I hered about from reading post on this page if any one can tell me how to get to the cave it eould be nice

Submitted by Stacey (not verified) on
I've always be super curious about this place because I grew up in the area. So many people have been arrested for trespassing, which makes it sketchy. Anyone know a specific route to get into Dudley Town without pulling up to the main gate with all the "no trespassing signs" and "beware of attack dogs"

Submitted by roy (not verified) on
Went to Dudley Town several times in the mid 80's with scout troops, and later with high school friends to party. Woke up once at 3:00 am to the sound of screams. Next morning, my tent mate asked if I had heard anything. Turns out he had heard it too. On another trip, spent almost an hour chasing a light through the woods with 2 friends of mine. Gave up and went back to camp without ever finding out what it was. A girl who went on one of the trips has a photo that was taken with a "spirit child" in the picture. Its a strange place.

Submitted by Connecticut Sam (not verified) on
I had heard many years ago of treasure hunter find many coins. It would be nice to visit but not if I get arrested. Best of luck to all of you.

Submitted by Dennis (not verified) on
I have found many things in there all through the 90's. All left too. Including a potential bone. Was there a couple months ago. Still protecte by the bitchy woman

Submitted by Connecticut Sam (not verified) on
Do you know of any other ghost towns in Connecticut? Please sent to: tippy1804@att.net Thank you.

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Submitted by Connecticut Sam (not verified) on
I be grateful for information on other ghost towns and buried treasures in Connecticut to be sent to: tippy1804@att.net

Submitted by John (not verified) on
To Stacy who posted March 2nd of 2009. I’d really like to see some of those pics you are talking about. Myself and some friends are planning an overnight (covertly of course) and was just looking for some added info to help plan our trip.

Submitted by darkentrymypatootie (not verified) on
So this area that Dark Entry owns is all private? why then, are the State police and DEP patrolling it so much? If my taxes are paying these officers to keep us out, I want in!! Reading up on this place I found it was started by some rich, NY Doctor who wanted to make it a self sustaining "Garden of trees" and a place where you could bring the whole family to enjoy, there were summer camps and a ski area... now no one is allowed to go enjoy it? What is going on in there they are so hot to either hide or keep for themselves?

Submitted by Mike (not verified) on
A few friends and I were at Hearthstone in July 2013 and I think we may have run into you guys without knowing it was you. Do you remember seeing a few teenagers there?

Submitted by Steve (not verified) on
Hello gosh the last time and i went twice to dudleytown was around 1995-96 there was a woman at the end of the road threatening to take down our license plate, but whatever i dont remember it being illegal to go in there back then.. As soon as u cross those 2 huge rocks/boulders it is quiet, like dead quiet no cars nothing.. I went with my GF back then her brothers and his gf it was Nov light snow was falling. U see a few foundations etc i remember around 430 it was pretty dark, we were heading back and u know those stone walls they have there i believe they were used to keep cattle in back in the day in anycase her brother decides to go pee but goes over the wall out of our sight as soon as he did that it was like he disturbed something, granted it was light snow but he was walking in front of me and literally looked like he went on a banana peel his body was almost sideways when he fell, then we kept hearing something in the woods, moving extremely fast almost trying to beat us to the exit of the rocks where our car was, granted animals can see in the dark etc but its heavily wooded we never saw anything but it freaked us out. I know of a couple peope that have taken pics of a waterfall there with human faces in the flowing water. I had the i guess opportunity to go to masuk high school in monroe ct, i got to go to ed and lorraines house those people scared the crap out of me i still remember their van had a CT vanity plate that said GHOST1, they took us to union cemetary not far from monroe, i took alot of pics of tombstones etc saw an outline of a baby boys face on one, come to findout he was 2 when he died. I live in Florida now nothing really here scares you like it did stuff up there, everytime i visit my parents now in CT and go skiing up in mohawk mtn i almost wanna go back to dudleytown whihc isnt far from there but i dont in fear of being arrested

Submitted by Dozerdemon (not verified) on
If you want to see another haunted forest then look for the State Forest in Lyme, this one is near The Salem and Old Lyme border, they have a history of Fairy and gnomes living there for Centuries and there's an old fairy circle, but I must warn you thought it's extremely different at night as I found and all of my friends have seen, they were skeptics turned believers after just minutes of being there after Midnight, one friend had actual blood pouring down his face like someone had dumped a bucket of it on his head, one girl got possessed then returned to normal after crossing the stream like doorway entrance it seemed to their little world, another time I was almost trampled by a spirit that actually sounded like a moose running at me so fast there was no time to move out of the way just brace yourself then whatever it was passed right through me like a hurricane like wind with dirt flying at me ,I still remember the cracking and stomping sounds it made running full boar breaking and crushing branches as it was heading for me ! Scary as Hell there I must say I would never camp there for fear of disappearing , I've heard Satanic cults have been going there for over two hundred years, people go in and are never heard or seen again after camping, there are crazy"Wrong Turn"or Chainsaw type Hillbillies that live out there that can't wait to bump into you as I have run into once and they were literally covered in deerblood head to toe at 3:00am while we were having a campfire keg party which they also had a child about age 6 with them covered in blood also! We left quick after they threatened to actually kill us if we didn't give them our beer ! There's an old school house from 1700s ,Witches from that area would practice their rituals in the woods from the 1700s to present day! There have been the F.B.I out there instigating the ritual sacrifices of Cows and Horses every year as hikers have seen in the mornings the alters with cow and Horses heads in the center ! There is too much more scary events to list but I'll tell more if any one is interested and the exact location and directions just post an interest it's a definite Scare fest after Midnight guaranteed just I hope you have brass balls lol

Submitted by Jess (not verified) on
Well here's the scoop. I have been going there since I was a young kid. Stories of sounds, mists, etc...well the're nice stories that's about it. Is there historical value to the area sure. But it is in no way worth risking getting arrested for trespassing. The road to get there is small and residential. I suggest having respect for the people who live in the area and not block up their street and littering in their forest. Nuff said.

Submitted by elbie (not verified) on
What if you just walk there and dont litter? i dont think thats the issue lol

Submitted by akasha1111 (not verified) on
My friends and I used to spend LOTS of time there in the 70's. Our boyfriends used to camp overnight but the girls would never do that! My first time there with a girlfriend and our boyfriends, we were for some unknown reason, pulled over by an unmarked policecar and asked what we were doing. Now we were being silly and irreverent with rosaries wrapped around our heads, etc and told them we were going ghosthunting at Dudleytown! They, without batting an eye, told us that was fine just don't freak out the neighbors or they would get a call. Never knew why that unmarked car pulled us over! Anyway, I can attest to the creepy silence of the woods, there never seemed to be animals around. There was also a graveyard we found with the grave of a little girl and the stone said something about 'said to be possessed of supernatural powers' but I can't remember exactly. Someone had left fruit and flowers around the grave and this was in winter. Another time all the guys camped there and the next morning looked down the road to see all their gf's coming up and thought to hide and scare everyone. Strangely enough the girls did not show up for quite a few more hours but wearing the same clothes the guys had previously seen in their 'vision'! A few times we "tried" to go there but I swear we could'nt "find" Dark Entry Rd. and we had been there many times! Another time just my gf and I went at night and as soon as we crossed the covered bridge I became very sick to my stomach. She pulled over by a barren corn field in case I became sick and as I stood there something growled at me! Scared to death I jumped back into the car and as we crossed the bridge on other side of town I instantly felt fine and it made me think about evil supposedly can't cross water. I also had a good friend who took tons of freaky orb and mist photos all around the foundations and made a video with the Warrens in it saying they were amazing pics. I think that's all, it was years ago, but I swear to you it's all true!

Submitted by Shirley (not verified) on
Thanks to the believers of the mighty ghost hunters (read charlatans) the Warrens, John Q. Public is no longer allowed to hike a very beautiful and pristine part of Cornwall. There is NO curse on Dudleytown, it lies in the shadow of three mountains, how do you propose to grow a crop in the shade or in the rocky soil??? There was NO church in Dudleytown, so the Warrens and their shodding reporting of a curse in the church is a farce! The woods were peaceful FILLED with birds singing and babbling brooks and streams running throughout and this WAS a place that my dog and I used to hike around when I first moved to Connecticut. I used to bring a huge empty bag and fill it with all of the trash left behind by these alleged ghost hunters and amateur witches. Please, if you're going to do a ritual, have enough respect for the quarters to close them and take your candle stubs with you *eye roll at you playgans* and thanks, people, for making this place off limits to those of us who actually respect a good hike and mother nature in her glory. If you want a good scare, rent The Exorcist and leave the woods alone!

Submitted by Debbie R (not verified) on
It's a shame that not all appreciate an interesting place and would rather ruin it for everyone else... I went with my husband and two of our friends during the late summer of 1999. We drove up to Cromwell from Norwich and couldn't find the Dark Entry Road entrance. We drove back to a little convenience store and the clerk intentionally gave us the wrong directions. We did end up finding it though in a roundabout way and spotted a place to park near the forest entrance. We took pictures on the drive up and during our hike but it was a disposable camera so we didn't know what we were going to capture when we got them developed. The first thing we noticed was the utter silence. Like most commenters had mentioned previously it was completely devoid of sound. No wind making the leaves rustle, no birds chirping, nothing... it was still very non-threatening though and a beautiful hike. Just strange silence. We saw the crumbling foundations and even encountered another hiker telling us not to take anything. Not that we would have anyway. But didn't really see or experience anything else. We hiked back to the car and there was a note on the windshield from the "Dark Entry Forest Association" that said something along the lines of them recording our license plate number and will call the police if we ever come back. We hightailed it out of there and on the way down we saw a cop pulled over someone else trying to drive up the road. I would love to go back and do more exploring but this town absolutely does not want visitors.

Submitted by Debbie R (not verified) on
I forgot to mention that all the pictures we took from inside the forest had a haze over them and the pictures we took before and after the hike were perfectly clear.

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