The Damned Story: One of the oldest cemeteries in the area, the Gunntown Cemetery in the Millville section of Naugatuck, dates back over two centuries to 1790, and features numerous headstones from the Colonial era. A smallish plot, it is enclosed by a stone wall and an iron gate, neither of which seem to contain the restless spirits alleged to roam this graveyard.
Gunntown Cemetery is a bit unique in terms of “haunting” in that there doesn’t seem to be a particular well-known legend associated with the site to account for the supposed high level of haunting that occurs here, other than it being a very old cemetery. No tales of heinous crimes or tragic love stories to stoke the paranormal reputation, as it were. (Well, none that we could find any record of—if anyone knows of one, please feel free to share it.)
As for particular otherworldly phenomena observed here—some claim to have heard random music and the laughter of children; others have alleged that they’ve seen a man carrying a lantern leading a horse across the grounds, as well as a little boy playing by the back wall who simply vanishes. Still others have claimed to have glimpsed a black dog that also quickly disappears.
Those who have investigated here have recorded spirit orbs and mists, as well as numerous EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena). The Warrens have also visited Gunntown, and unsurprisingly, deemed it “officially haunted.” Many who trek there at night suggest that there are strong feelings of dread, inexplicable drops in temperature, and a general sense of being creepy.
Oxford Past offers a list of those buried in Gunntown Cemetery.
Our Damned Experience: We visited Gunntown Cemetery on a bright summer morning in 2014.
Okay, not exactly prime time for ghost hunting, but since we always encourage our damned friends to visit places around the state without breaking the law or trespassing, this is what we share here.
Like most historic cemeteries in the state, many of the headstones that are still standing date back to Colonial times. A good number of men who have heroically served this nation buried here, including veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War.
As we entered through the cemetery’s lone gate, we noticed an odd thing right off the bat—the sounds of crickets and other chirping bugs were immediately amplified the moment we were inside the walls. Seriously, it got noticably louder, probably because the noise was bouncing off the stone walls (that completely enclose the graveyard) and back at us, sort of like being contained in a giant box of rocks. This might explain some of the auditory phenomena that visitors have experienced here.
We also noticed that there were swarms of gnats and other flying pests inside the graveyard that hadn’t been around while we were outside. We attributed this to having stirred them up by walking through the longish grass. It doesn’t look like this cemetery gets a lot of regular visitors or much care. Many of the shrubs have become overgrown and obscure graves and tombstones in some places. There were multiple stones under the large hydrangea below.
As we wandered around taking pictures, we thought it was a very quiet place, which can be a bit spooky for some in the middle of the day. Of course, the whole idea of what’s scary or what constitues “a haunting” is a bit subjective. For instance, this one headstone below was off by itself in the back corner of the cemetery, and if you stare at the greenery behind it long enough and want to believe, your brain can trick you into seeing all sorts of “monster-like” faces howling in the leaves.
It’s technically called pareidolia, in case you’re wondering (and we knew you were).
So the visit was fairly uneventful except for one moment. When we were getting ready to take the picture below, the stick holding the flag on the left moved quite a bit all on its own. Like, it swung around about four to six inches without anyone touching it.
Now there was definitely a light morning breeze, and you can see that both flags are billowing a bit. But it was just weird how much the one flag moved—almost like it was coming to attention!—and the moment it chose to do it. Our hearts stopped for a second, but we realized it was just the wind, right? Right? Hmm …
Other than that, we didn’t experience anything unusual here. We didn’t see the spirits of any old horsemen or ghostly dogs, nor did we hear anything otherworldly or particularly creepy. As you can see in the gallery below, there are many terrific old headstones in the Gunntown Cemetery, and any fan of history will appreciate what’s visible here.
It is what’s allegedly not visible where it can get interesting for others.
If You Go: Gunntown Cemetery is located on Gunntown Road in Naugatuck. From what we can tell, there are no set hours, and there are no “No Trespassing” signs.
That being said, the local police patrol the area regularly and frown upon after-dark visits—in other words, you will be arrested for trespassing at night. Although, as always, if you do decide to visit, please be respectful. And be careful parking as it’s on a narrow road where cars go surprisingly fast.
View Gunntown Rd in a larger map