The Moodus Noises

November, 2008 by Ray Bendici

The Damned Story: For centuries in the town of Moodus, odd noises have been heard -- spooky rumblings that have been described as sounding like everything from thunder to trees falling to the Earth itself belching. No one is quite sure from where they originate or what causes them, but people do know them when they hear them.

Actually, the name "Moodus" comes from the local Native Americans who called the area "Machimoodus" long before settlers came to Connecticut, which roughly translated means "place of bad noises." They believed the sounds were caused by the god Hobomoko, who apparently was a restless, violent and exceptionally noisy entity. When the first Puritan settlers came to the area in the late 1600s, they of course thought it was Satan himself rattling around under the southeastern Connecticut countryside. (Then again, with almost 35 different places in the state being named by them with some sort of "Devil" connotation, they thought Old Scratch was behind every tree and rock, so they may not be the best judges of what qualifies as an evil realm.)

As time rolled along and more "learned" men came to the area, they attributed the noises to more natural than supernatural causes -- citing explanations such as seismic activity. In the 1980s, they were "officially" declared to be the result of "shallow micro-earthquakes," a scientific -- and thereby, generally accepted -- explanation.

In recent times, the noises have been heard less frequently. But that doesn't mean Hobomoko (or Satan) has piped down for good.

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Update: In March 2011, an earthquake measuring 1.3 on the Richter scale rocked the Moodus area, setting off the noises once again.

Our Damned Experience: We have yet to visit Moodus to investigate, but we'll let you know if we hear anything!

If You Go: The sounds are believed to come from the general vicinity of Mount Tom and Cave Hill. The new Machimoodus State Park (so new, as a matter of fact, it's not yet listed on the Connecticut DEP site yet!) is right at the heart of the mystery, located along routes 151 and 196 in Moodus. It's open to the public year-round.
View Machimoodus State Park in a larger map

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Comments

Submitted by nicole (not verified) on

i live here & you do hear them once in awhile

Submitted by Padt (not verified) on

I would like to know if anyone has located the remains of the stone chambers. There were at least 2 stone chambers ala Gungywamp on the site at one time. I saw pictures from probably the 50's and the roof had caved in on one of them. Even if they are just stone lined pits by now, I would be very interested in knowing their location.

Submitted by Joe P. (not verified) on

Well you had one today, 3/24/11
A 1.3 richter apparently..

Submitted by Common Tater (not verified) on

As we were taking a walk at Echo Farm (Machimoodus State Park) on Sunday, March 20, 2011, my son and I felt a pretty good one. We heard it but also felt it on our chest. At first we were thinking something blew up again, but my husband reminded me about the Moodus noises, I really think it's an awesome thing.

Submitted by gilda shiner (not verified) on

The "noises" are actually earthquakes.

Submitted by J. Lowry (not verified) on

That writer of weird tales, H. P. Lovecraft, made use of the Moodus in several of his stories. Too bad he's dead---perhaps he knew something!

We live near the Westford Fault in MA, which generates a small shallow earthquake now and then. I miss most of them, that's how small they are. But one I did notice presented with nothing more than the vibration you'd expect from a passing truck (we lived on a busy street in Lowell at the time), a rumbling sound and a sort of bang, like the truck hit a giant pothole. Sounds a lot like the description of the Moodus noises. I can see how it would freak out the Satan-obsessed.

Submitted by Common Tater (not verified) on

We would rather not have it listed on the DEP web site- then people come in and wreck it. As it is right now, people drop something, others pick it up and leave it so they can find it, there is no litter, it's peaceful, other than in summer you have dogs barking and goofing off in the pond. That's the joy of it. Before the state came in and made it an 'official' park, no one had their dog on a leash, everyone accepted that was the norm, if your dog had issues, you leashed it. The non-issued dogs got to run and play with other dogs. One day we had about 7 or 8 chocolate labs out in the pond all with red collars on, chasing someones ball, having a blast. Now there are signs and laws everywhere, and not so many dogs.

I heard and felt the quake over along the path towards the left of the pond, along the Salmon River Cove side. There's a bench there to rest and you can see downriver to the swing bridge.

Submitted by sam (not verified) on

i went just the other day and definitely heard them!!! everyone with us heard them. it was amazing!

Submitted by Liz (not verified) on

Heard them a little after midnight last evening. Pretty amazing

Hey!! Just went hiking here today. Gorgeous place, took lots of pictures!! If you want any for your site send me an email at hiddenwondersphotography@gmail.com. We will be checking out Sunrise Resort (an abandoned resort that went under in 2008) on Monday. Will have awesome pictures of there as well! I recommend Machimoodus. It is a great hike, beautiful area, very peaceful, and best of all.... not crowded like many hiking areas. Perfect for a peaceful hike with someone special or by yourself. It does have an ominous feel to it!! I can see why people find it a bit creepy to visit!! I loved seeing the abandoned barn that is along the lower vista hike. Again, awesome place to check out!

Submitted by Garrett (not verified) on

Greetings,
I was born and raised in Moodus .1956 parents born an raised as well...

I recall sitting on a rail fence with my sister in Johnsonville watching Joe Pah process hay bails and suddenly we were shaken on the rail..awesome...what a day...most of the other noises,tremors were due to faults, slippages of rock face along Mt Tom which I can show you..several of which were freshly viewed on my regular hunts and general walks into that country which I knew like the back of my hand...it was a great place to grow up, Mt Tom, Salmon River, Bucky's galore,snakes,carp,deer,grouse, walking low tide in the estuary barefoot, fishing, camping out in the woods, we did it all...

Submitted by Jennifer (not verified) on

I live in Moodus and I have noticed the strange noises too, good to know what caused them. Moodus is a really neat little town, lots of history.

Submitted by Christine (not verified) on

As of April 2014, this sounds have been identified as small earthquakes very close to the surface of the earth. Heard the story on NPR today.

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