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.
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